Disease Incidence and Prevalence

  • J. Christopher Shank


It is important that a textbook for a major medical discipline such as family medicine include a discussion of disease incidence and prevalence. This suggests a technical discussion of the basic epidemiology of “diseases” seen in modern family practice. However, the ensuing discussion of statistics and rates must begin with a discussion of patients and their perceptions of “dis-ease.” The second section will introduce the interdependence of epidemiology with family medicine and lead into a definition of the basic epidemiologic concepts: incidence and prevalence.


Family Physician Disease Incidence Acute Otitis Medium Family Practice Newborn Care 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Fry J: Common Diseases—Their Nature, Incidence, and Care. 2nd ed. Philadelphia and Toronto, Lippincott, 1979.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    White KL, Williams TL, Greenberg BG: The ecology of medical care. N Engl J Med 265: 885–892, 1961.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Morrell DC, Wale CJ: Symptoms perceived and recorded by patients. J Roy Coll Gen Pract 26: 398–403, 1976.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Anderson JAD, Buck C, Danaher K, Fry J: Users and non-users of doctors—implications for self-care. J Roy Coll Gen Pract 27: 155–159, 1977.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Demers RY, Altamore R, Mustin H, Kleinman A, Leonardi D: An exploration of the dimensions of illness behavior. J Fam Pract 11: 1085–1092, 1980.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zola IK: Studying the decision to see a doctor. Adv Psychosom Med 8: 216–236, 1972.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    McWhinney IR: Beyond diagnosis. An approach to the integration of behavioral science and clinical medicine. N Engl J Med 287: 384–387, 1972.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Stewart MA, McWhinney IR, Buck CW: How illness presents: a study of patient behavior. J Fam Pract 2: 41 1414, 1975.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Garfield SR: The delivery of medical care. Sci Am 222: 15–23, 1970.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Garfield SR, Collen MF, Feldman R, Soghikian K, Richart RH, Duncan JH: Evaluation of an ambulatory medical-care delivery system. N Engl J Med 294: 426431, 1976.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Barskey AJ: Hidden reasons some patients visit doctors. Ann Intern Med 94: 492–498, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bain ST, Spaulding WB: Importance of coding presenting symptoms. Can Med Assoc J 97: 953–959, 1967.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Morrell DC: Symptom interpretation in general practice. J Roy Coll Gen Pract 22: 297–309, 1972.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Robertson DL: Symptoms encountered during a three-year family practice residency. J Fam Pract 13: 239–244, 1981.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    McLemore T: 1979 Summary National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, U.S. Washington, D.C., (Health Research, Statistics, and Technology, No. 66) (DHHS publication No. (PHS) 81–1250) March, 1981.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Report of the Classification Committee of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies, and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians. ICHPPC-II: International Classification of Health Problems in Primary Care. 1979 Rev. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Friedman GD: Primer of Epidemiology. 2nd ed. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1980.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Scherger JE: The use of epidemiologic methods in family practice. J Fam Pract 6: 849–854, 1978.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    White KL: Primary care research and the new epidemiology. J Fam Pract 3: 579–580, 1976.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Freer CB: Epidemiology and family medicine. J Fam Pract 8: 865–866, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    GrauntJ: Natural and Political Observations Mentioned in a Following Index and Made Upon the Bills of Mortality. Reprinted ed. New York, Arno Press, 1975.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rothman KJ: Sounding boards, the rise and fall of epidemiology, 1950–2000 A.D. N Engl J Med 304: 600–602, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pickles WN: Epidemiology in Country Practice. Bristol, J Wright, 1939.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bass M: Approaches to denominator problem in primary care research. J Fam Pract 3: 193–195, 1976.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kilpatrick SJ: Current status of research in “the denominator problem.” In: Lipkin ML, White KL. Primary Care Research in 1980. New York, Rockefeller Foundation, 1981.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Garson JZ: The problem of the population at risk in primary care. Can Fam Phys 22: 871–874, 1976.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kilpatrick SJ: The distribution of episodes of illness-a research tool in general practice? J Roy Coll Gen Pract 25: 686–690, 1975.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Cherkin DC, Berg A, Phillips B: In Search of a Solution to the Denominator Problem. Proceedings of the Ninth Annual North American Primary Care Research Group Meeting, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, March, 1981.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Schofield TPC, Robertson DL: The Use of Different Denominators to Measure Morbidity in a Family Practice. Proceedings of the Ninth Annual North American Primary Care Research Group Meeting, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, March, 1981.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Fry J: Primary Care. London, Heinemann Medical Books, 1980.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Pan American Health Organization. Health Conditions in the Americas 1973–1976. New York, World Health Organization, 1978. Publication No. 364.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    National Center for Health Statistics. Final Mortality Statistics, 1978. Hyattsville, Md. (Vital and Health Statistics. Volume 29, No. 6) (DHHS publication No. (PHS)80–1120. U.S. Government Printing Office) Sept. 1980.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Robbins JA: Preaching in your practice; what to tell patients to help them live longer. Primary Care 7: 549562, 1980.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Stewart WL: A major role for family medicine in the 1980s. J Fam Pract 11: 325–327, 1980.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Her Majesty’s Stationery Office: Morbidity Statistics from General Practice-Second National Study 197071. Studies on Medical and Population Subjects, No. 26, 1974.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Tenney JB, White KL, Williamson JW: The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: Background and Methodology. Washington, D.C. (Vital and Health Statistics. Series 2, No. 61) (DHEW publication No. (HRA)76–1335. Public Health Service. U.S. Government Printing Office) April, 1974.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Marsland DW, Wood M, Mayo F: A data bank for patient care, curriculum, and research in family practice: 526, 196 patient problems. Part I. Rank order of diagnoses by frequency. Part II. Diagnoses by disease category and age/sex distribution. J Fam Pract 3: 37–68, 1976.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Shank JC: The content of family practice: a family medicine resident’s 2’/s year experience with the E-book. J Fam Pract 5: 385–389, 1977.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Haight RO, McKee CA, Barkmeier JR: Morbidity in the first year of a family practice and its comparison to the Virginia study. J Fam Pract 9: 295–299, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Whewell J, Marsh GN, Wallace RB, Shank JC: Comparative content of three family practice residency programs. J Fam Pract 9: 613–619, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Green LA, Reed FM, Martini C, Warren PS, Simmons RL, Marshall JA: Differences in morbidity patterns among rural, urban, and teaching family practices: a one year study of twelve Colorado family practices. J Fam Pract 9: 1075–1080, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Anderson JE, Lees REM: Patient morbidity and some patterns of family practice in southeastern Ontario. Can Med Assoc J 113: 123–126, 1975.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Warrington AM, Ponesse DJ, Hunter ME, et al.: What do family physicians see in practice? Can Med Assoc J 117: 354–356, 1977.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Anderson JE: Reliability of morbidity data in family practice. J Fam Pract 10: 677–683, 1980.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Fortinsky RH, Gutman JD: A two phase study of the reliability of computerized morbidity data. J Fam Pract 13: 229–235, 1981.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Fry J: The primary care-hospital interface in England. J Fam Pract 9: 339–340, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Trevelyan MH, Cook J: Use of acute medical and general practitioner beds by the practitioners working in one new town. J Roy Coll Gen Pract 24: 477–487, 1974.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Knyvett AF: The health center hospital—the community hospital of the future. Med J Aust 2: 569–571, 1974.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    DeMelker RA: The relationship between the family doctor and the hospital. J Roy Coll Gen Pract 24: 703–709, 1974.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Berkeley JS: Reasons for referral to hospital. J Roy Coll Gen Pract 26: 293–296, 1976.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Woodward JW: A general practitioner ward in a new district general hospital. J Roy Coll Gen Pract 26: 660664, 1976.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Swarbrick PJ: The first five years: one practice’s view of a hospital general practitioner’s unit. Health Bull 35: 7–10, 1977.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Slabaugh RC, Ringiewicz M, Babineau RA: The hospital work of a family practice group in a medium-size community in New England. J Fam Pract 11: 287–297, 1980.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Fowler JA, Falk WA: A study of GP hospital admissions in British Columbia. Can Fam Physician 19: 56–59, 1973.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Garg ML, Skipper JK Jr., McNamara MJ, et al.: Primary care physicians and profiles of their hospitalized patients. Am J Pub Health 66: 390–392, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Tarrant M: What price admitting privileges? A study of hospital admissions by two family physicians. Can Fam Physician 23: 59–67, 1977.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Medley ES, Halstead ML: A family practice residency inpatient service: a review of 631 admissions. J Fam Pract 6: 817–822, 1978.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Shank JC: Hospital problems cared for by one family physician. J Fam Pract 7: 547–552, 1978.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Maguire PH, Cook PD: In-hospital family practice: a one-year summary. J Fam Pract 8: 1019–1023, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Alcoff J: Inpatient service of a navy family practice residency program. J Fam Pract 12: 871–875, 1981.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Davy MF, Mapp JA, Gayle ME: A Review of Hospital Admissions over a One-Year Period in a Family Practice Residency. Proceedings of the Ninth Annual North American Primary Care Research Group Meeting, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, March, 1981.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Christopher Shank

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations