Key Concepts in Public Health identifies fifty key concepts used across the discipline of public health in order to give the reader a broad perspective of the core topics relevant to training and practice. From epidemiology to health promotion, and ethics to leadership, the book offers an exciting guide to the multiprofessional field. Each entry features a snapshot definition of the concept, a broader discussion addressing the main issues and links to practice, key points relevant to the entry, case studies to illustrate the application to practice, and examples of further reading.

Public Health Theories

Public health theories


A theory is the articulation of the framework of beliefs and knowledge which enable us to explain a specific phenomenon. One of the major problems for public health practitioners is that theories are not articulated in everyday language but are made up of concepts and constructs which are often difficult to understand. Perhaps this is one reason why some commentators have argued that theories are unnecessary and need to be eradicated and replaced by common sense or professional judgement (Pring, 2000). However, the practical understanding which underpins common sense and professional judgement is built on assumptions and lacks the validity and truth of theoretical explanations. It is the theoretical perspective which informs research methodology and provides a context for its ...

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