Understanding Health eBook

Get 20% off this eBook. Use code EBOOK20.

Fourth Edition

Helen Keleher, Colin MacDougall

Understanding Health eBook

Get 20% off this eBook. Use code EBOOK20.

Fourth Edition

Helen Keleher, Colin MacDougall






8 Oct 2015




$74.95 AUD

$85.99 NZD

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Understanding Health 4th edition introduces students to all of the key health disciplines, examining public health, health promotion, social determinants of health and primary health care as a means of achieving greater fairness, social justice and health equity. It provides an update of important new developments in determinants thinking and adds new material on how to take action on the social determinants of health from whatever your field of endeavour with an emphasis on the evidence for better health and equity.  It takes a more practical approach and looks at strategies for improving health practice.
The structure of the book begins by discussing the over-arching principles of health and health promotion and continues on to explore how health status and the determinants of health are measured. The book then covers how health is shaped by the determinants of health, and finally, how to use that knowledge to improve health. The book equips the students to explore the theories and helps them to understand how to put them into practice. The extensive pedagogy highlights important theory, research and practice into the concepts covered within the text.
New to this edition
  • Chapters have been revised and updated with current research and practice examples. NEW/heavily revised chapters: 
    • Global health *NEW*
    • Population health *NEW*
    • Epidemiology *NEW*
    • Ecology and Health *NEW*
    • Marginalised populations *NEW*
    • Health promotion *Heavily revised*
    • Determinants of Indigenous Health *Heavily revised*
    • Social Marketing *Heavily revised*
    • Concepts of Health and Primary Health Care chapter are two chapters 
  • Part 1 provides a comprehensive introduction to the health field, explaining the key health concepts: Determinants of health; Primary Health Care; Public Health; Population Health; Global Health and Health Promotion. 
  • Theory has been unpacked and concepts fully explained to ensure that this is truly an accessible text to those starting their education in health. 
  • Updated Theory to Practice boxes that look at the theory working in real-world examples. Includes case study examples to highlight practical implications for key groups of practitioners.
  • Stronger focus on data and research with new Research in Practice Boxes presenting studies that use a variety of methods (includes qualitative and quantitative).
  • Increased content on content on: 
    • Migrants, asylum seekers
  • Enhanced navigation and signposting of topics through the addition of Key Learning Objectives and cross-referential margin links to ensure students can connect concepts throughout the text.


1. Concepts of Health
2. Determinants of Health
3. Primary Health Care
4. Public Health
5. Population Health
6. Global Health 
7. Health Promotion
8. Health and Well-being Data
9. Epidemiology
10. Evidence in Public Health
11. Determinants of Behaviours
12. Social Determinants and the Health of Australia’s First Peoples
13. Ecology and Health Michael 
14. Human Rights and Health
15. Marginalised populations
16. Social Marketing
17.  Health Education for Empowerment
18. Program Planning and Evaluation
19. Policy for Health
20. Organisational Change


Helen Keleher – Adjunct Professor School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University and Principal, Keleher Consulting.
Colin MacDougall – Professor of  Public Health and  Executive member of the  Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University; Principal Fellow (Honorary) Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Lecturer Resources

Upon publication, the following resources will be available for lecturers using Understanding Health 4th edition:

  • Instructor’s Resource Manual (Tutorial activities) 
      2-3 tutorial activities per chapter
  • Testbank (updated from previous edition)
    • 20−30 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and 6 short-answer questions (with answers) per chapter

Sample Pages

Read a sample chapter from Understanding Health fourth edition:

Chapter 1: Concepts of Health