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Clinical epidemiology 

Clinical epidemiology
Chapter:
Clinical epidemiology
Author(s):

Jason W. Busse

, Edward Mills

, Rodolfo Dennis

, Vivian Welch

, and Peter Tugwell

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199218707.003.0036
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date: 19 June 2019

Global society has reached a level of interdependence wherein there is a need to share healthcare knowledge and deploy resources in the best interests of people everywhere. Clinical and public health professionals can be united in this effort through their common reliance on epidemiology. Clinical epidemiology and its derivative—the evidence-based medicine movement—have many parallels with public health. Indeed, many clinicians with clinical epidemiology training develop research projects and subsequently research programmes that move beyond clinical decision-making to include a population focus.

In response to this global need, the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) programme has trained over 700 physicians and other health specialists at a Master’s degree level in clinical epidemiology, social sciences, biostatistics, or clinical economics. INCLEN has established a global resource network to support fundamental changes in the way physicians, medical educators, and policy makers think about health and disease. INCLEN now has semi-autonomous regional networks in Africa, India, China, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe–Mediterranean, and Canada–United States.

A methods framework, the ‘equity–effectiveness iterative loop’, is used to demonstrate the interface between clinical epidemiology and public health, with special attention to ensuring that the disadvantaged are explicitly considered. The focus is on evidence-based, action-oriented epidemiology based upon the health needs of the relevant community. Various examples are used, such as circumcision to prevent male-acquired HIV infection.

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