This course is a core component of any Master’s degree in Epidemiology, and is also key to being able to follow specialized courses in epidemiology. Its aim is for you to learn about the principles and practice of cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies. We will discuss design, data collection and outcome measures, as well as the major advantages and disadvantages of the different study designs. The emphasis will be on the application of study design in etiologic research.
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
- Explain the principles, design and validity aspects of a cohort study, a case-control study and a cross-sectional study
- Interpret the measures of frequency and association from cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies
In particular, you should be able to:
- Calculate the corresponding measures of frequency and association, and explain these calculations
- Explain the modern designs used instead of the classical case-control study (e.g. case-cohort study or case-crossover study)
- Explain the methods of data collection in the different study designs
- Explain the specific aspects of study design in veterinary epidemiology as compared to human epidemiology (e.g. clustering of animals and the effects this has on study design, measurement of exposure status, disease status and confounders, and the selection of the study population)
- Appraise scientific abstracts and papers on the choice of study design, and debate the relevant validity aspects
- Design an appropriate study to be used in a specific situation or to answer an etiologic study question
Carla van Gils MD PhD
Carla van Gils is a member of: the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) Breast Cancer Working Group, the Institutional Review Board of the UMC Utrecht and also member of several scientific societies, such as the Netherlands Epidemiological Society and the American Association for Cancer Research and its Molecular Epidemiology Group. She focuses on the epidemiology of cancer in general and on molecular and genetic epidemiology of breast cancer in particular.
Yvonne van der Schouw MSc PhD
Yvonne van der Schouw is member of the Institutional Review Board of the UMC Utrecht, and also member of several scientific societies, such as the Netherlands Epidemiological Society, the North American Menopause Society and the International Menopause Society. Cardiovascular disease etiology is the main research interest of Yvonne van der Schouw. A large part of her research program of is directed at unraveling the role of menopause in occurrence and progression of cardiovascular disease.
Rolf Groenwold MD PhD
Rolf Groenwold is assistant professor in Clinical Epidemiology. The focus of his research is on methodological aspects of epidemiologic research into the effect of medical interventions (in particular drugs). In 2012, he received a prestigious personal research grant on this topic (ZonMW Veni). His teaching experience includes courses in epidemiology as well as statistics.
Mirjam Nielen DVM PhD dipl. ECVPH
Mirjam Nielen is full professor in Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine at the Department of Farm Animal Health, Utrecht University. Her main academic tasks are research, teaching and advisory aspects of clinical epidemiology and Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine. Her goal for EBVM is to provide evidence from population-based studies to support veterinary decisions. Her current research interests is to apply epidemiological techniques to ‘get the most’ out of practice data.