Disease Prevention: A Critical Toolkit

ISBN : 9780198725862

John Frank; Andrew J. Williams
240 ページ
138 x 216 mm

Preventive medical interventions and non-medicalised public health programmes that promise health benefits in the future, from actions taken now, carry a strong ethical requirement of 'first, do no harm' or primum non nocere. New preventive advice and interventions are being promoted on a daily basis, Disease Prevention: A Critical Toolkit provides a set of appraisal tools to guide those considering a preventive action to make sure that it is effective (does more good than harm), efficient (is a competitive use of scarce resources), and equitable in its impact across society. Case studies and worked examples illustrate the risks and benefits of specific preventive interventions. Divided into 10 chapters this practical and concise book focuses on multiple aspects of prevention including the hierarchy of preventive options; the assessment of causation; finding and appraising scientific evidence; prevention directed at entire populations (as opposed to individuals); measuring chronic disease risk factors and medically managing them: statin treatment of high cholesterol; PSA screening for prostate cancer; genetic screening for future disease risk; and assessing the health equity implications of prevention. Aimed at front-line public health and primary care professionals, Disease Prevention: A Critical Toolkit will equip them with the up-to-date skills necessary to help them better inform and serve their patients and communities.


1 Introduction: Why we wrote this book
2 Basic principles of successful and unsuccessful prevention
3 A brief history of prevention . . . and causation
4 Seeing the forest for the trees finding and using the evidence
5 Causation and prevention in populations versus individuals
6 How simple advice can sometimes be wrong the case of healthy diets
7 Preventing chronic diseases by risk factor detection and treatment: what every health care consumer needs to know
8 Detecting disease before symptoms begin: the blemished promise of cancer screening
9 Genetic testing for disease prevention: oversold?
10 When can prevention expect to also reduce social inequalities in health?
Appendix 1 Preventive Actions: Decision Support Tool
Appendix 2 Useful Resources for a Critical Appraisal Tool Kit Applied to Disease Prevention
Appendix 3 Suggested Answers for Quiz Questions at End of Chapters


John Frank is a physician/epidemiologist, and a professor of public health/primary care since 1982, at four universities in Canada, the USA and the UK. He has been Professor (now Emeritus) at the University of Toronto, at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (since 1983); founding Director of Research at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto (1991 to 1997); and inaugural Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Population and Public Health (2000-2008). He currently holds a Chair in Public Health Research and Policy at the University of Edinburgh, and directs the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (www.scphrp.ac.uk). The Collaboration seeks to develop and robustly test novel public health policies and programs to equitably improve health status in Scotland, through the convening and ongoing support of researcher/research-user consortia.; Ruth Jepson is Deputy Director, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy, University of Edinburgh. After her MSc, Ruth spent over 10 years in the Cochrane Collaboration as a Review Group Co-ordinator and reviewer. She also worked at the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination in York University. She returned to the University of Edinburgh to complete a PhD on developing a measure of informed choice in cancer screening. Prior to 2012, she was Co-Director of the Centre for Population and Public Health, and Lead for the Physical Activity and Diet Research Programme, University of Stirling. Her methodological expertise is in systematic reviews and evaluation research (both qualitative and quantitative), applied to promoting physical activity, through partnerships with service providers and users.; Andrew James Williams is a public health statistician/epidemiologist. He is currently the research fellow in natural experimental approaches for the Farr Institute, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy, University of Edinburgh. Originally he began training in medicine but transferred out through health informatics into public health. He has a MPH from the University of Birmingham and a PhD from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. His research interests relate to the use of non-consented routinely collected data, and child health and wellbeing.