Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care


Epidemiology is a methodological discipline for medical causal research. The field also encompasses knowledge about the distribution of various diseases in time and space. The overarching goal of the discipline is to attain knowledge relevant to the prevention of illnesses in the population. Group Leader: Tone Bjørge

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The teaching group is associated with the field of EPISTAT.

The methodological foundation can also be directed towards health-promoting factors, thereby providing knowledge relevant to health-promoting work. Central to this is the study of the distribution of diseases and disease-causing factors in the population (descriptive epidemiology) with the aim of uncovering the causes of diseases (analytical epidemiology).

About the Study Group The members of the group are involved in epidemiological research nationally and internationally, with a background in epidemiology and affiliation with the institute's teaching in epidemiological research methods. Currently, there are six appointed members in the group, four of whom are full-time employees. In addition, some temporary members (research fellows, postdoctoral researchers) are affiliated with the study group.

Areas of Work The group serves as the institute's epidemiological professional forum and is responsible for discussing discipline-specific matters, coordinating education in the field, continually assessing the academic content of the teaching, and engaging in pedagogical development work. A primary goal is to enhance students' and researchers' understanding of epidemiology and how this knowledge can be used to comprehend the factors affecting population health. This is achieved by conveying knowledge about fundamental epidemiological methodology and developing the ability to critically reflect on scientific studies. Important topics conveyed to students include different types of epidemiological study designs with their strengths and weaknesses, how to measure disease occurrence, understand various measures of associations between exposure and disease, principles of screening, and assessment of sources of error and causal relationships. The objective of teaching is to equip students with the ability to evaluate medical literature and actively participate in the planning and execution of studies. Primary teaching tasks include epidemiology for medical students, research courses in epidemiology, and methodological teaching for master's students at the institute, as well as supervising student projects. Additionally, doctoral candidates are mentored. One of the group's members is the semester board leader for first-year medical and dentistry students (MEDOD1).

Professional Development, Collaboration, and Network The group's members are primarily associated with the institute's epidemiological research groups, which utilize health registries and large population surveys with associated biobanks as central sources for research. These groups engage in professional collaboration through an ongoing seminar series (Wednesday seminars) and an annual seminar where external speakers are invited. Furthermore, the community is connected to the Norwegian Epidemiological Association (NOFE), including through board positions and participation in the annual Norwegian conference.