The concept of prevention: a good idea gone astray?

2 Mar

Over time, the definition of prevention has expanded so that its meaning in the context of health services is now unclear. As risk factors are increasingly considered to be the equivalent of ‘‘diseases’’ for purposes of intervention, the concept of pr evention has lost all practical meaning. This paper reviews the inconsistencies in its utility, and suggests principles that it should follow in the future: a population orientation with explicit consideration of attributable risk, the setting of priorities based onreduction in illness and avoidance of adverse effects, and the imperative to reduce inequities in health

  • The concept of prevention: a good idea gone astray?. Starfield B., Hyde J., Gérvas J., Heath I. J Epidemiol Community Health 2008; 62: 580-583. Download article here.