Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
|Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health|
|Former name(s)||British Journal of Social Medicine, British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Community Health|
|Abbreviated title (ISO 4)||J. Epidemiol. Community Health.|
|Discipline||Public health, epidemiology|
|Edited by||Martin Bobak, James R. Dunn|
British Journal of Social Medicine:
British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine:
Epidemiology and Community Health:
The journal was founded in 1947 by John Ryle, a highly respected physician who was regarded as "one of the most distinguished figures in contemporary medicine" for his time, and has been published under various titles. Former titles are:
- 1947 - 1952: British Journal of Social Medicine
- 1953 - 1977: British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine
- 1978: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
- March 1979: Epidemiology and Community Health
- June 1979 – present: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
In 1990, the editors made a conscious decision to make the journal more “readable,” perhaps to attract a wider range of readers. There is a short section in the beginning of the journal literally entitled, “Changes in the Journal” where it specifies this goal of the decade. There is one article in the March 1990 journal that highlights the need for a change in how national health is measured. There is an added importance in including “health behavior and prevalence of specific diseases, and such variables as blood pressure [and] blood cholesterol” as one of the indicators of national health. The National Health Service and Community Care Act was also established in 1990, an act that made assessing populations for health care support a responsibility of local authorities, so that those who needed assistance would receive it. Each journal in 1990 had about 26-27 articles of which about 16-20 were research articles, 5-10 were book reviews on public health topics, and 1 was a conglomerate of short articles (reviews < 2 paragraphs per topic). The year 1990 had a variety of topics: health education evaluation, injuries and drug willingness (which I thought was interesting because it focused on health behaviors), health procedures and measures, and other epidemiological studies. The journal’s layout was very simple (at least in the e-version) with just the underlined title and the different articles under different subsections (research, commentaries, or book reviews).
In 1991, the journal had a similar layout, but I noticed one new section called “Correction.” I thought the action of pointing out certain flaws in previous articles made the journal very reliable and gave it a higher potential to be interactive. There is also “Letter to the Editor” section as well. It was hard to find a trend so far in this journal because the topics varied from national health, diseases, health behavior (cigarette smoking), to racial sub-categories of diseases. It had settings in different European and African countries, which added to the international goal of the journal’s beginnings.
In February 1992, there was an interesting topic about the response rate of a postal questionnaire after a person was asked their ethnic origin. A study showed that there was no difference in response rate for those who were asked and those were not. Then the very next article was about a study of response rates of those who received a newspaper of the latter study. People were more likely to respond when they received the newspaper. It was very unique from the other topics, but it did well to further the idea that one should re-examine the structure of studies in regard to questionnaires, which is very important for public health studies. there were 6 journals published in 1992, compared to 4 from the previous years. There seemed to be a lot of optimism in the early 1990s for new changes in health care and the prospect of social medicine.
In 1993, the font of the title of the journal changed, and there was a new section: “Editorials.” One aspect of health strongly emphasized in this year was preventive medicine and the methods to implement it. In the February 1993 journal, there were about 3 articles highlighting the strategies and results of preventive medicine. Apparently there were a lot of books/articles written in 1993 on preventive medical strategies. One book, published by Geoffrey Rose in 1993, is thought of as the foundation for preventive medicine today. There seems to be a trend of not only assessing populations as subjects or patients but also assessing health care providers and medications: “States, Regulation, and the Medial Profession” and “Pay more, get more? The influence of pay on doctors' behavior.” There were also some articles on the health behaviors based on the built environment, like the use of public swimming pools.
The February 1994 journal noted that there would be a change in the indexing of each article. The topics in the journal were still similar; but there seemed to be an effort to relate the connection between social medicine and public health, emphasizing more studies on “social” man to further preventive medicine. Also the foundations of public health, epidemiology, and causation were common topics. There was also an addendum for certain terms, perhaps maybe unclear to readers, which helped in the process of making the journal more “readable.” There is also an “In this number” section that gives an overview or a background perspective for the journal, which was continued in later years.
The February 1995 journal had no book reviews but had about 25 research articles. The later journals did however. The topics discussed so far had not changed in variety, but there were some articles that enlightened one on interventions for health behaviors, such as smoking cessation and food hygiene. For some reason, the August and December1995 journals’ covers are brown (compared to yellow) and have supplements. There was also a “Foreword” in some of the journals, but not consistent. There appeared to be more studies on the effect of one’s living environment and social equality on health.
The April 1996 journal had several articles on air pollution. Coincidentally, a University of Rochester sophomore died in April 1996 from a government-sponsored experiment on air pollution. The student had overdosed on lidocaine during a bronchoscopy procedure. The latter would explain the sudden interest in air pollution and health. In 1997, one topic that struck me was the February issue: “Talking About Anorexia. How to cope with life without starving.” I thought it was a topic very modern, not to say it did not exist before that time. The December 2007 journal had a “cool blue” color, and had some reflective articles over issues in the 5 previous years. There were 12 issues in 1998, compared to the 6 in previous years. There were also fewer articles, from about 26 to 12. The variety of topics was about the same as the previous articles. It was also the same in 1999, but the topics seem to be mundane and social. For example, there were articles about poor health among single mothers and finding one’s identity in a complex world. In 2000, there were more sections added to the journal: “Theory and Methods” and “Public health policy and practice.” The former section “Theory and Methods” on socio-economic inequalities, there was a group of arguments set up in which the writer would defend or criticize with supported evidence. The latter section had an objective in which a subject is evaluated (whether a certain procedure is equally provided regardless of socio-economic status) and then a conclusion from the evaluation.
Overall, this decade had small changes in content, but it had a significant impact on the definition and importance of public health, which is heavily influenced by social and environmental factors.
Abstracting and indexing
The journal is abstracted and indexed by: