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Edited by E Regidor. Alicante: Alicante University, 2003, pp 270. ISBN 84-688-1893-3
This book is the result of a seminar held in April 2003 by the University of Alicante (Spain). The publisher and entire support team have made every effort to give the articles written by different authors a homogeneity rare in works of a similar origin.
For some years, the health system, both the professionals working in it and the users and those responsible for its management, have been debating whether the decisions taken have a scientific basis.
However, some fields seem to be outside this movement causing some perplexity in the observer. One of these fields is public health and, precisely, health management. As discussed in the first chapter of this book, it is a field in which the evidence is scarce and contradictory and, in that framework, little can be done by those with the task of decision taking to give support to evidence that, very often, is no such thing.
The book has 10 chapters, with the first one dedicated to giving the reader a general view of the matter in question—the use of evidence applied to public health measures. The other nine contributions consider different examples of public health problems with their characteristics and—why not say so?—with their contradictions.
We are given interesting material for a debate as the decisions in this field are influenced not only by the scientific evidence, in many cases arguable as mentioned previously, but also by other factors of a social, cultural, and economic nature that cannot be forgotten
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