Epidemiologic Methods III
EPI 265 Spring 2017 (2 units)
The class will emphasize the determinants of disease incidence, and the challenges of
causal inference from observational studies. We will review alternative study designs, and
equip students to propose alternative approaches to evaluating a research question. In
particular, we want students to understand the trade-offs implicit in any particular chosen
design, relating to sample size and generalizability, measurement validity and precision,
and internal validity. These considerations will be contextualized within extant literature on
chronic disease epidemiology, focusing on particular 'hot-topic' theoretical debates, such as
early life sensitive periods, the obesity epidemic, determinants of dementia, and cohort
trends in chronic disease incidence and prevalence.
At the conclusion of the class, students will be able to:
Articulate specific, testable hypotheses regarding determinants of chronic disease and
how chronic diseases influence functional outcomes.
- Describe how proposed research questions contribute to active debates in chronic
disease epidemiology, including the origins of the obesity epidemic, cohort trends in
cardiovascular disease, cross-national differences in chronic disease incidence and
prevalence, early life influences on dementia and cardiovascular disease.
- Propose alternative study designs (e.g., case-control, cohort, quasi-experimental, or
randomized trial) to test hypotheses.
- Articulate advantages and disadvantages of alternative designs, considering the
research question, exposure, and outcome under consideration.
- Select appropriate statistical approaches for data analysis, considering the research
question, data source, and measures available.
- Describe and estimate the magnitude of potential sources of bias in observational,
quasi-experimental, or randomized studies, including confounding, selection bias, missing
data, and incorrect measurement.
- Distinguish between the goals of etiologic and prognostic studies.
- Review applied quantitative articles in chronic disease epidemiology, summarize
research questions, and identify pros and cons of: study design, measurement
approach, and analytic approach for the specific research question.
Epidemiologic Methods (EPI 203) and Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research I (BIOSTAT 200). Exceptions to this prerequisite
may be made with the consent of the Course Director, space permitting.
Course content will be delivered through weekly seminars. These will take place on Mondays, 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM, April 3 to June 5.
All course materials will be posted on the course's online syllabus.
Each session will be accompanied by recommended reading in the form of journal articles and specfic websites.
Grading will be based on class participation and feedback to other students (20%), written examination (2 quizzes, 5% each for 10%), written reports/homeworks (45%), and original paper/final research project (25%).
UCSF Graduate Division Policy on Disabilities
To apply for this course, please fill out and
submit the application below. Course fees are covered by the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The deadline for application is March 17, 2017.
Only one application needs to be completed for all courses desired
during the quarter.
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