History of health, a valuable tool in public health

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Title: History of health, a valuable tool in public health
Authors: Perdiguero Gil, Enrique | Bernabeu-Mestre, Josep | Huertas, Rafael | Rodríguez Ocaña, Esteban
Research Group/s: Grupo Balmis de Investigación en Salud Comunitaria e Historia de la Ciencia
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Enfermería Comunitaria, Medicina Preventiva y Salud Pública e Historia de la Ciencia
Keywords: Health | Public health | History
Knowledge Area: Historia de la Ciencia
Issue Date: Sep-2001
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Citation: PERDIGUERO, E., et al. “History of health, a valuable tool in public health”. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Vol. 55, No. 9 (Sept. 2001). ISSN 0143-005X, pp. 667-673
Abstract: The aim of this article is to highlight the importance of the history of public health for public health research and practice itself. After summarily reviewing the current great vitality of the history of collective health oriented initiatives, we explain three particular features of the historical vantage point in public health, namely the importance of the context, the relevance of a diachronic attitude and the critical perspective. In order to illustrate those three topics, we bring up examples taken from three centuries of fight against malaria, the so called “re-emerging diseases” and the 1918 influenza epidemic. The historical approach enriches our critical perception of the social effects of initiatives undertaken in the name of public health, shows the shortcomings of public health interventions based on single factors and asks for a wider time scope in the assessment of current problems. The use of a historical perspective to examine the plurality of determinants in any particular health condition will help to solve the longlasting debate on the primacy of individual versus population factors, which has been particularly intense in recent times.
Sponsor: Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture (Research Projects PB97–0782-C03–02 and PB97–0782-C03–01).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/20310
ISSN: 0143-005X (Print) | 1470-2738 (Online)
DOI: 10.1136/jech.55.9.667
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. http://jech.bmj.com/
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech.55.9.667
Appears in Collections:INV - BISCHA - Artículos de Revistas

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