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Due to the shift to the social model of health care, public health researchers and practitioners are increasingly interested in the insider perspectives and experiences of key players in health, including health consumers and healthcare providers (Olson, Young & Schultz, 2016). Thus, qualitative research has been adopted in public health in many ways and in numerous fields of health research. The main focus of this chapter is on qualitative research. You will learn about the nature of qualitative inquiry and the need for qualitative research in public health. You will also gain a basic understanding of some philosophical assumptions of qualitative research that lead to different understandings about public health in different groups of people. Attempts have been made in the past few decades to provide evidence-based public health care to individuals and communities. Thus, we have witnessed a large number of research projects carried out in the public health arena. Evidence-based practice in public health and the need for qualitative inquiry are also discussed in this chapter.
The health of the public is determined by a spectrum of complex individual, social, cultural, economic and environmental factors. This has been attributed to determinants of health.Based on the concept of a new public health, it is argued that public health practice is situated within the context of broader social issues concerning the underlying social, economic, cultural, environmental and political determinants of health and disease. Thus, this book has its emphasis on the sociocultural environment rather than on the biological and genetic factors associated with health. This chapter introduces public health and the salient issues relevant to it from local and global perspectives. The definition of public health, its values and major public health organisations are included. The chapter also discusses major public health challenges in Australia and from a global context. The social model of health, health inequalities and social justice are also discussed.
Public Health: Local and Global Perspectives presents a comprehensive introduction to public health issues and concepts in the Australian and international contexts. It provides students with fundamental knowledge of the public health field, including frameworks, theories, key organisations and contemporary issues. The third edition features a new chapter on the public health workforce and the importance of advocacy in the profession and a thorough update that includes current research and case studies. Discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic and other contemporary public health issues offers students the opportunity to apply theory to familiar examples. Each chapter contextualises key concepts with spotlights and vignettes, reflective questions, tutorial exercises and suggestions for further reading. Written by an expert team of public health professionals, Public Health is an essential resource for public health students.