Fundamentals of Epidemiology I – JHSPH 550.694.81

This 2008 JHSPH OpenCourseWare graduate course examines the basic concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics as applied to public health problems. Emphasis is placed on the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation, appropriate summaries and displays of data, and the use of classical statistical approaches to describe the health of populations.

Topics include the dynamic behavior of disease; usage of rates, ratios and proportions; methods of direct and indirect adjustment, and clinical life table which measures and describes the extent of disease problems. Various epidemiologic study designs for investigating associations between risk factors and disease outcomes are also introduced, culminating with criteria for causal inferences. The application of these disciplines in the areas of health services, screening, genetics, and environment policy are presented. The influence of epidemiology and biostatistics on legal and ethical issues are also discussed.

Learning Objectives

After completion of this course and Fundamentals of Epidemiology II, students will be able to apply principles of epidemiology and biostatistics to the prevention of disease and the improvement of health.

Objectives of the course include:

  • distinguishing the roles and relationships between epidemiology and biostatistics in the prevention of disease and the improvement of health.
  • computing basic descriptive statistics and explore data analytic methods.
  • demonstrating a basic understanding of epidemiologic methods and study design.
  • combining appropriate epidemiological concepts and statistical methods.

Course Organization

The content of this first of two courses is divided into eleven lectures spread out over four "modules."  The four modules are:

  • Module 1: Roles of Quantitative Methods in Public Health - Sessions 1–4
  • Module 2: Quantifying and Comparing Public Health Measures- Sessions 5–7
  • Module 3: Quantifying the Natural History of Disease- Sessions 8–9
  • Module 4: Probability Concepts and their Use in Evaluation of Diagnostic and Screening Tests - Sessions 10–11

PDF slides from the lectures are available; however, JHSPH did not make any audio or video available to go along with the slides. No mention of a final exam or other course assignments made in the OCW content.

Further Reading

Two texts were originally required for the course:

Additional Resources

The instructors of this course are using WikiEducator to collect case studies to illustrate different types of epidemiologic investigations. The instructors are particularly interested in studies conducted in Western Asia and the Arabian Peninsula, and they are looking to OCW users to help them find the best examples.

The WikiEducator page includes previously submitted case studies which may be applicable to this course. Users are recommended to review the content in the scope of the course. You are also encouraged to submit a case study by editing the wiki page. Registration is required to submit a case study.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login