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 Medical Geography  posted by  member150_php   on 4/3/2009  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Medical Geography  2004



The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to some of the methods used by medical / health geographers to study the causes of human disease.
1.   To place the contemporary experiences of health and disease in developed countries in a global and historical perspective.
2.   To outline the disease ecology approach to the understanding of infectious disease.
3.   To review recent trends in infectious disease.
4.   To outline how a spatial analytical approach may be used to enhance our understanding of the causes of degenerative disease.
5.   To review the main factors believed to account for social and spatial variations m degenerative diseases.

Course Description

This module begins by tracing the history of disease, paying particular attention to the decline in infectious diseases as the major causes of death and the associated increase in life expectancy (i.e. the epidemiological transition). It is argued that these improvements owed more to changes in social and physical environment conditions than to advances in medical practice. It is further argued that further improvements might be possible with regard to degenerative diseases if greater attention was paid to the social and environmental factors. The module outlines two of the main methodologies adopted by medical geographers in the study of infectious and degenerative diseases, namely disease ecology and spatial analysis. These methods are illustrated by more detailed case studies of heart disease and schizophrenia.

Course Structure

1.   History and global geography of disease (4 lectures)
2.   Infectious diseases: (a) disease ecology (3 lectures)
3.   Infectious diseases: (b) new infectious diseases (2 lectures)
4.   Degenerative diseases: (a) spatial analysis (1 lecture)
5.   Degenerative diseases: (b) hypothesised factors (6 lectures)
7.   Degenerative diseases: (c) case study of perinatal influences on adult heart disease (2 lectures)
8.   Mental illness (3 lectures)


The assessment for this course consists of an exam in May and a mid-term test on Monday 22n March, 2004 in Hall F at 4 pm. The mid-term test will replace a normal lecture slot. The test will consist of a number of short questions, rather than questions requiring essay-type answers. The test will only examine material covered before the mid-term break.
The exam in May will take the normal essay-type format and will cover material covered in the eiite course, including the material covered in the mid-term test.
Office Hours
I will make every effort to be available for consultation in my office (17 Rhetoric) at the following times each week:   Tell A Friend