Home
Education
PhD course

Observational Epidemiology: Survey, Cohort and Case-Control Studies

  • ECTS credits6
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeINTH956
  • Resources

Course description

Language of instruction

English

Course content

The course addresses critical methodological aspects of observational epidemiological studies
- Epidemiology - an overview
- Sampling methods and design effects
- Sample size and statistical power
- Measures of disease occurrence and of exposure-disease association
- Bias, confounding, effect modification
- Surveys and surveillance.
- Cross-sectional study
- Cohort study
- Case-control study
- Points to remember in the planning and evaluation of the different study designs
- Use of logistic regression, Poisson regression, and Cox regression.
- Use of time-dependent exposure variables.
- Alternative designs of cohort studies: Nested case-control- and case-cohort studies.

The schedule for the course can be found here: http://www.uib.no/en/course/INTH356.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes

Knowledge
This course will give the student knowledge about:
- Sampling methods and design effects
- Sample size and statistical power
- Measures of disease occurrence and of exposure-disease association
- Bias, confounding, effect modification
- Surveys and surveillance.
- Cross-sectional study
- Cohort study
- Case-control study
- Points to remember in the planning and evaluation of the different study designs
- Analysing classical cohort studies using Poisson or Cox regression and data from case-control studies using ordinary or conditional logistic regression

Skills
This course will give the student the skills to:
- Critically evaluate epidemiological research
- Explain the main principles of epidemiological research
- Distinguish the principles of surveys, case-control and cohort studies - and how these designs differ from each other and from the design of randomized controlled trials
- Calculate sample sizes for surveys, cohort studies, and matched and unmatched case control studies
- Compare alternative sampling methods
- Calculate precision and account for design effect in cluster sample surveys.
- Distinguish the different types of cohort studies, i.e. prospective, retrospective and double cohorts
- Distinguish the different types of case-control studies
- Suggest relevant designs (plan) for case control studies, cohort studies and surveys
- Evaluate selection- and information biases in these three study designs and discuss how to minimize such bias
- Evaluate confounding and interaction, how to differentiate between these, how to deal with these
- Do data analysis using logistic regression, Poisson regression, and Cox regression, and time-dependent exposure variables.

General competence
This course will give the PhD student general skills to understand and plan observational epidemiological studies.

It will qualify the PhD candidates for research activities requiring a high level of scientific insight, and give advanced theoretical and methodological competence.

Study period

Spring

Specific terms

Recommended previous knowledge

Basic introduction to Epidemiology and Statistics (equivalent to INTH 302 and HELSTA- Statistical methods in health science)

Compulsory Requirements

Compulsory 80% attendance

Contribution with group work

Form of assessment

Forms of Assessment: 4-hour written exam consisting of short questions and problem-solving questions and calculation. (As for Master students; See INTH 356).
Examination Support Material: Open book (course material), dictionary, calculator (not on cell phone)

Home assignments with 1/ Analysis of a data set 2/ Present a critical review of a published paper

Grading Scale ECTS credits A-F (F = fail)

Who may participate

Open to all registered students at PhD level at the University of Bergen or at a collaborating university.

Addtional information

Supplementary course information

The pre-reading provides necessary background information to follow the course. Each day has a mixture of lectures and practical sessions, with group work or individual work on specific assignments and the use of the computer laboratory for data analysis under supervision. The lectures are interactive, and course participants are encouraged to ask questions and discuss during all sessions. The reference literature will be made available on the first day of the course through internet ("Mitt UiB"). Scientific papers will be handed out for reading, group work and presentations/discussions in plenary together with the course facilitators/lecturers.

About 40% of the course is lectures, 40% individual assignments or group assignments with supervision and work/discussions and 20% individual reading and lab exercises.

Contact

Course Coordinator: Bernt Lindtjørn

Course Administrator:

Centre for International Health, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care

E-mail: studie@igs.uib.no

Tel: 55 58 85 69 / 70

Reading list

The reading list will be made available by 1 December on Mitt UiB.

Study period

Spring