Measurement Theory and Practice
EPI 228 Fall 2018 (2 units)
Measurement is one of the cornerstones of scientific research. Sometimes, measurement is reasonably straightforward (e.g., laboratory measurements with external gold standards), but more often than not measurements of exposures and outcomes in research are based on complex systems including both objective and subjective observations about people, objects, events, feelings and other processes. The overarching goal of this course is to demystify the terms and to introduce students to the main concepts of measurement. The specific objectives are:
Epidemiologic Methods (EPI 203), or equivalent experience; Introduction to Statistical Computing in Clinical Research (BIOSTAT 212), or equivalent experience with the Stata software program; and Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research I (BIOSTAT 200) or equivalent coursework. While in some instances, there may be a brief review of topics covered in these foundational courses, it will be assumed that students have a solid foundation of the material covered in these courses.
Each week, new material is introduced via lecture and recommended readings. Homework, in the form of a problem set, is assigned on five different weeks of the course and is due one week after the lecture. The goal of the homework is to reinforce the main points brought forth in lecture as well as to cover more detailed nuances found in the readings. The problem sets are discussed in detail with course faculty in the Small Group Discussion Sections that occur one week after the lecture.
All course materials and handouts will be posted on the course's online syllabus.
Health Measurement Scales: A Practical Guide to their Development and Use
by Streiner DL, Norman GR and Cairney J. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. 5th edition. 2015.
Scale Development: Theory and Applications
by DeVellis RF. Los Angeles, USA: SAGE Publications, Inc. 4th edition. 2017.
Both textbooks will be placed on reserve at the UCSF Library (Mission Bay campus). Books may be purchased either through the publisher or a variety of commercial venues (e.g., Amazon.com).
We recommend that students start their preparation for class with reading the Streiner textbook, which provides a broad overview of measurement issues in health sciences. DeVellis provides more substantive information on specific topics relevant to development of new health scales.
Stata Statistical Software (Stata Corporation, College Station, TX) will be used; version 13 or higher is acceptable. A six-month student license for Stata/IC is the least expensive option that will be suitable to complete all course assignments, but Stata/SE is recommended for robust future use. The TICR Program has arranged for a sizeable discount for UCSF-affiliated personnel.
Grades will be based on total points achieved on:
Please note that late assignments are not accepted.
Homework assignments: Homework will include questions based on seminar readings and problems based on actual study datasets. All homework should be submitted (uploaded to the course CLE) before 10:00 AM on the due date.
Midterm examination: An exam consisting of short answer and multiple choice problems will be administered at the mid-point of the course. The exam will be administered through the CLE and can be taken at any time during the week using the allotted time (45 min).
Oral presentation: Each student will select a data collection method/instrument which examines constructs or is reflective of a particular phenomenon and prepare a 15-minute oral presentation of its psychometric adequacy reflecting the following main points:
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.