PH-111 Introduction to Basic Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Course Description: This course introduces the epidemiological principles and their application in the occurrence of health-related events in the population.  An introductory overview of biostatistics concepts and skills that are necessary for epidemiological practice will also be addressed.  Epidemiology works through studies that try to identify, describe and measure the distribution of health and disease, and their determinants, in a specific population.   

  • Prerequisite: MS099
A. PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES (PLOs):

The student will be able to:
 Recognize, describe and discuss the basic public health science facts and principles;

  1. List and discuss the essential public health functions and their interrelationships at community and district level;
  2. Describe and discuss adult, children and family health issues;
  3. Discuss and demonstrate an understanding and practice of some generic public health competencies;
  4. Demonstrate proper public health skills for public health practice in the community as a state or local public health officer;
  5. Discuss and demonstrate community and cultural sensitivity in the health care environment;
  6. Describe and discuss the health determinants and problems of adults, children and families;
  7. Demonstrate proper cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid techniques;
  8. Demonstrate the ability and discuss how to make a community diagnosis based on the determinants of health;
  9. Identify and demonstrate good public health practice; 
  10. Have had work experience at a public health facility at community and district levels.
B. STUDENT LEARNING OUTLINES (SLOs) - GENERAL:

The student will be able to:

  1. Identify health-related problems or phenomena in communities and describe their epidemiological distribution and possible determinants
  2. Describe basic measures of morbidity and mortality and calculate them
  3. Employ appropriate statistical methods in health data analysis; organize and present analyzed data in logical and meaningful ways
  4. Discuss the importance of basic concepts and principles of public health surveillance systems, including screening programs, in monitoring the health status of a population
  5. Describe and discuss the concept of disease outbreak and its detection, investigation and control
  6. Explain how epidemiological studies contribute towards the overall health and well being of population groups and communities.

SLO

PLO1

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PLO3

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PLO5

PLO6

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PLO9

PLO10

PLO11

SLO1

 ID

 

 

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SLO2

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SLO3

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 ID

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SLO4

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SLO5

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SLO6

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 ID

 

I = Introduced
D = Demonstrated
M = Mastered

C. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOs) – SPECIFIC:

The student will be able to:

General SLO 1. Identify health-related problems or phenomena in communities and describe their epidemiological distribution and possible determinants


Student Learning Outcome

Assessment Strategies

1.1. Define and discuss the purpose and goals of Epidemiology and its use

1.2. Describe some examples of the use of epidemiological concepts in health settings

1.3. Discuss the application of epidemiology principles in quantitative health research

1.4. Describe and discuss the concept of determinants and causation

1.5. Describe the four stages of the natural history of disease

1.6. Define the concepts of “normality” and “abnormality” in the context of clinical Epidemiology

1.7. Briefly discuss the concept of diagnostic testing and the relationship between diagnostic test results and the occurrence of disease

1.8. Describe the different levels of prevention and explain what stage of disease each level of prevention aims to address

 

Group discussions and oral reports to be graded according to a specified rubric.

Individual assignments

Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes

General SLO 2.  Describe basic measures of morbidity and mortality and calculate them


Student Learning Outcome

Assessment Strategies

2.1. Describe basic methods of health measurements

2.2. Define and calculate commonly used morbidity (incidence and prevalence) and mortality rates (crude and specific death rates)

2.3. Discuss factors that influence rates in an observed disease occurrence

 

Group discussion and oral reports to be graded according to a specified rubric.
Problem solving or practice sets
Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes

General SLO 3. Employ appropriate statistical methods in health data analysis; organize and present analyzed data in logical and meaningful ways


Student Learning Outcome

Assessment Strategies

3.1. Define statistics and explain the role of statistics in health care

3.2. List the categories of statistics and what they are used for

3.3. Explain the types of data

3.4. Calculate and interpret the measures of central tendency and measures of dispersion of different quantitative data sets

3.5. Estimate population dynamics using samples

3.6. Explain hypothesis testing

3.7. Identify appropriate data display techniques to present analyzed data  

 

Groups discussions to be graded according to a specified rubric.

Individual assignments.

Problem solving or practice sets

Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes

General SLO 4. Discuss the importance of basic concepts and principles of public health surveillance systems, including screening programs, in monitoring the health status of a population.


Student Learning Outcome

Assessment Strategies

4.1. Explain the concept of Public Health Surveillance (PHS)

4.2. Describe the different types of PHS

4.3. Describe the criteria for deciding which diseases to place under surveillance

4.4. Identify sources of bias/ error in surveillance data and how these can be minimized

4.5. Use a 2 x 2 table contingency and calculate screening test indices 

4.6. Explain what the indices of a screening test validity mean

 

Group discussions to be graded according to a specified rubric

Individual assignments

Problem solving or practice set

Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes

General SLO 5. Describe and discuss the concept of disease outbreak and its detection, investigation and control.


Student Learning Outcome

Assessment Strategies

5.1. Discuss the importance of surveillance data and its relation to outbreak detection

5.2. Define and confirm an outbreak

5.3. Describe the steps of an outbreak investigation and its management

5.4. Explain the importance of establishing a case definition before the counting of cases

5.5. Describe with examples the classification of case definitions

5.6. Interpret the various components of an epidemic curve

5.7. Calculate and interpret attack rates

5.8. Initiate an environmental assessment and guide the setting up of relevant epidemic control measures

5.9. Assist with an epidemic report and manage an epidemic checklist

 

Group discussions and oral reports to be graded according to a specified rubrics

Problem solving or practice set

Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes

General SLO 6. Explain how epidemiological studies contribute towards the overall health and well being of population groups and communities.


Student Learning Outcome

Assessment Strategies

6.1. Describe and differentiate the epidemiological principles of descriptive, ecological, cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies; randomized controlled, field and community trials

6.2. Discuss advantages and disadvantages of these study designs

6.3. Explain different rates used in these studies

6.4. Explain the use of the 2x2 contingency table in each study design

6.5. Calculate and interpret odds ratio (OR) and measures of risk [e.g. relative risk (RR); risk difference/ absolute risk (RD or AR); population attributable risk (PAR), and others]  

6.6. Define environmental Epidemiology and give examples of environmental hazards associated with adverse human health effects

6.7. Explain with examples the ‘dose-effect’ and ‘dose-response’ relationships and their importance

6.8. Describe with examples the steps of risk assessment and risk management

6.9. Discuss how to use epidemiological principles for planning, evaluating and monitoring health services

 

Group discussions and oral reports to be graded according to a specified rubric

Problem solving or practice set

Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes

D. COURSE CONTENTS

  1. Introduction to Epidemiology
  2. Basic Measurements in Health
  3. Study Types – An Overview, Observational and Experimental Epidemiology
  4. Study Types – Case-Control and Cohort studies: in greater details
  5. Basic Statistics for Epidemiology
  6. Causation, Clinical Epidemiology and Prevention
  7. Overview of Public Health Surveillance and Data for Decision Making
  8. Infectious Diseases and Investigating an Outbreak
  9. Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  10. Epidemiology – Health Services and Health Policy

E. Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures: in-class lectures, followed by group discussions and activities relevant to the topics presented.
  2. Tutorials: review and revising of the learning objectives; discussions on outcomes of group activities assigned after lectures.
  3. Group presentations: students’ presentations on selected readings and group discussion/ activities.

F. Required text(s) and course materials

Beaglehole R., Bonita R., Kjellstrom T. (2007). Basic epidemiology, (2nd Ed.). Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. (or most recent edition

G. Reference materials

  1. Friis RH., Sellers TA. (1999). Epidemiology for public health practice,(2nd ed.). Maryland: Aspen Publishers. (or most recent edition)
  2. Last JM. (1998). A dictionary of epidemiology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  3. Lilienfeld DE., Stolley PD. (1994). Foundations of epidemiology, (3rd ed.).New York, NY:  Oxford University Press.(or most recent edition)
  4. MacMahon B., Trichopoulos D. (1996). Epidemiology: Principles and methods, (2nd Ed.).New York, NY:  Little, Brown, and Company.
  5. Mausner, Shira (1985). Epidemiology: An introductory text,(2nd Ed.). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  WB Saunders. (or most recent edition)

H. Instructional cost

None

I. Evaluation

None

J. Credit-by-examination

None

 

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