September 16, 1983

Clinical Epidemiology: The Essentials

Author Affiliations

School of Public Health University of Illinois at Chicago


by Robert H. Fletcher, Suzanne W. Fletcher, and Edward H. Wagner, 223 pp, with illus, paper, $16, Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins Co, 1982.

JAMA. 1983;250(11):1469. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340110071044

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This book, written by and directed to physicians, presents the basic concepts of epidemiology with conciseness, clarity, and numerous examples from clinical medicine. The authors approach the topic of clinical epidemiology by applying epidemiologic principles and methods to problems encountered in clinical medicine. They believe that knowledge of these principles can help a clinician not only in the evaluation of clinical literature but also in patient care.

The book consists of 12 chapters, each covering a broad epidemiologic concept. Among the major topics included are problems in clinical measurements; sensitivity, specificity, and predictive accuracy of diagnostic tests; measurement of disease occurrence and etiology; and assessment of prognosis and of treatment efficacy. The text has interspersed numerous tables and attractive diagrams and figures, and the authors make effective use of tables to summarize their discussions.

Major strengths of this book are its clarity, the attractiveness of its presentation, and its avoidance