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Evidence-based Public HealthEffectiveness and efficiency$
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Amanda Killoran and Mike P. Kelly

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563623

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563623.001.0001

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The individual and the social level in public health

The individual and the social level in public health

(p.425) Chapter 29 The individual and the social level in public health
Evidence-based Public Health

Michael P Kelly

Oxford University Press

This chapter identifies two distinct analytic levels — the ‘individual’ and the ‘social’ — for defining and explaining individual disease outcomes and population patterns of health and disease. It argues that there are two distinct levels of analysis and corresponding causal pathways, which explain different sets of processes. The mechanisms that occur at the individual level, which lead to disease, are real, as are the consequences of pathologies in the human body. The mechanisms which operate at the social level are also real and so too are their consequences. These mechanisms operating at the individual and the social levels are, however, analytically separate, and make different epistemological assumptions.

Keywords:   analytic levels, public health, individual level, social level, individual disease outcomes

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