EPI 204 Fall 2018 (3 units)
This is primarily a course about prediction. In common speech, prediction involves using information that is available now to evaluate the likelihood of an uncertain event in the future. In epidemiology and biostatistics, “prediction” includes using available information not only to predict the future but also to estimate the probability of a state or condition that already exists but is difficult or expensive to measure by other means. In public health and clinical practice, diagnostic tests are used to estimate the probability of prevalent disease and risk prediction models (or “rules”) are used to evaluate the likelihood of some future event. In this course, we will cover how to interpret the metrics used to describe the performance of diagnostic tests and risk prediction models, how to design a research studies to evaluate tests and risk models, and how to use the results of tests and risk models to inform decision-making. Throughout, we assume that the information from tests and models guides decisions. Although the tests and models discussed are clinical and the decisions are often treatment decisions, the principles apply to any problem of prediction and decision-making under uncertainty.
The specific objectives of this course are to provide a basic understanding of:
Designing Clinical Research (EPI 202). Exceptions may be made with the consent of the Course Director, space permitting. The course draws heavily upon clinical examples and may be more challenging for students without any clinical background. However, learning how to use clinical information to diagnose disease or predict outcomes and guide treatment decisions is an excellent way to introduce prediction in general.
All course materials and handouts will be posted on the course's online syllabus.
We are working on the second edition of our 12-chapter Evidence-Based Diagnosis textbook. We will post the required reading from this book on the course syllabus site.
Some of our material can also be found (in abbreviated form)
in Designing Clinical Research, by Stephen B. Hulley, MD, MPH et al. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 4th Edition. 2013. Chapter 12 is particularly useful and is partly based on this courses.
Grading is based equally on homework (including the problem-writing assignment, which counts as 1 homework) and a take-home final exam.
Students not in full-year TICR Programs who satisfactorily pass all course requirements will, upon request, receive a Certificate of Course Completion.
This course is sponsored by the Training in Clinical Research (TICR) Program, and space is limited. Preference is given to UCSF-affiliated personnel. We regret that auditing is not permitted.
To apply for this course, please fill out and submit the application below. Please see our fees page for cost information. The deadline for application is September 7, 2018. Only one application needs to be completed for all courses desired during the quarter.