Applied Epidemiology: Generating quantitative evidence in health

Understanding epidemiological research using health reports, analyzing secondary data and other biostatistical tools.

In this course, the students move from a general understanding about quantitative evidence and health measures (e.g., prevalence and mortality rates), to a deeper appreciation and competence in epidemiological concepts and methods. 

The first part of the course will introduce them to the definition of epidemiology, including how to analyse and present the distribution and determinants of diseases in a specified population. This will be facilitated by reading of health reports and analysing secondary data from health and allied sectors. Students are then introduced to the range of study designs used in epidemiology (cross-sectional, case-control, cohort, experimental studies, etc.) to understand health problems, risks, and interventions in a population. 

The bulk of the course will focus on cross-sectional studies, which will help build their understanding about epidemiological research questions, indicators, populations, samples, data collection, analysis, the use of biostatistical tools, inference, and reporting. 

To facilitate this, they will undertake a small cross-sectional study in small groups as part of the course, mentored by the faculty member starting with how to think about the health problem being studied till the report preparation. 

This will help consolidate the most relevant quantitative skills for public health practice (which can also be applied in operational research and programme evaluations).