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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

Print version ISSN 1414-3283On-line version ISSN 1807-5762


PERINI, Edson; PAIXAO, Helena Heloísa; MODENA, Celina Maria  and  RODRIGUES, Roberto do Nascimento. The individual and the collective: challenges in the fields of Epidemiology and Social Medicine. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2001, vol.5, n.8, pp.101-118. ISSN 1807-5762.

This article reviews certain fundamental Epidemiology concepts, exploring the counterpoints of their main philosophical contradictions. Thus, the conceptual interdependence between the individual and the collective is discussed, as well as the complementary nature of quantitative and qualitative approaches, the natural and social character of human existence and, finally, the collective and individual expressions of risk. Based on this analysis, the author concludes that the concept of risk harbors the potential for a revision of epidemiological practice. Without overstepping the limits that science imposes upon the production of knowledge, this revision is suggested based on the practice of the confluence of quantitative and qualitative research methods, closer to the immediate needs of individuals. As the knowledge of collective reality becomes significant to them, the likelihood of their contributing to the efficiency of Social Medical Care increases.

Keywords : Epidemiology; Social Medicine; risk.

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