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April 1995

Assumptions, Prevention, and the Need for Research

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins Children's Center Baltimore, Md

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(4):356. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170160010001

THIS MONTH, all journals published by the American Medical Association are dedicating their issues to articles on disease prevention and health promotion. Is your response "ho-hum"? Do you have the sensation that you are viewing yourself in a mirror?

As pediatricians, we may find it hard to think critically about disease prevention and health promotion. Indeed, we pediatricians seem to assume prevention. That is, we not only take the value of preventive care as granted and true, but we have incorporated prevention into our modus operandi at such a basic level that we are identified with it. We think of ourselves as experts.

Researching preventive services, which implies questioning, is almost offensive. Research might come more naturally to a specialty in which disease prevention and health promotion seem like novel ideas. However, the disease prevention and health promotion responsibilities we are assigning ourselves, as illustrated by Bright Futures: National