Epidemiology is a practical discipline involving the systematic study of health, disease, and human behaviour in the natural world. It aims to describe the extent and pattern of a problem: who, when and where people become ill, and then to explain these observations. Practical Psychiatric Epidemiology provides a general introduction to epidemiological techniques for psychiatric research. As demand grows for evidence based practice in psychiatry, there is increasing use of epidemiological methods for studies into causes, prognosis and treatment of psychiatricdisorders; however, working in the field of mental health throws up its own particular challenges. This book explains how to adapt the tried and tested methods used in generic epidemiology to the special circumstances of psychiatric epidemiology. The result is a comprehensive introduction to the field, accessible to clinicians, in practice and in training, as well as those embarking on a career in mental health research. It will also be of interest to those from outside the sphere of mental health, interested in the special methodologicaldifficulties encountered.