Abstract

Cochrane, A. L (Medical Research Council's Epidemiology Unit (S. Wales), Cardiff, Wales.) The history of the measurement of ill health. Int. J. Epid. 1972,1: 89–92.

The evolution of ideas about, and techniques for, the measurement of ill health in S. Wales is summarized under three arbitrary headings: (i) the development of survey techniques; (ii) the attempt to validate the survey findings; and (iii) the search for a dichotomy. Finally the suggestion is made that a better approach would be to determine the point(s) on the distribution curves of biochemical and haematological measurements at which treatment starts to do more good than harm.

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