Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Intervention studies are broadly defined as those that include an action or component intended to promote health or prevent disease by influencing, affecting, or manipulating environmental, behavioral, or etiological aspects of a disease. In other words, an intervention is designed with the express intention of improving health at the individual or group level. One of the most famous interventions in modern biomedicine occurred in 1854 when John Snow, a medical doctor, advocated removing the pump handle from a public water pump located on London's Broad Street. Snow believed that the Broad Street pump was the source of contaminated water contributing to a cholera epidemic in the city. Snow's earlier observations of cholera convinced him that the disease was transmitted through direct physical contact with contaminated individuals or other contaminated sources. Therefore, he believed, the simple act of removing the handle from the Broad Street public pump, which was located within ...