274344 Epidemiology

Lecturer: Dr. Ronit Almog

Academic Credits: 2

Method of Teaching: Lectures

2 hours per week

Course Abstract:

This course presents an introduction to the basic principles and methods of epidemiology and its applicability to public health and research. In addition, students gain skills in how to begin to interpret and critically evaluate literature relevant to public health professionals. The lectures will include in-class problems, discussions and clarifications of difficult issues. Students will be required to prepare for each session by reading the corresponding textbook readings. Structured exercises for self active learning will be available on Moodle. No homework assignment will be required.

Textbook: Gordis L (2004). Epidemiology. Fourth Edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.


Session 1 EPI: Introduction: Introduction to epidemiology; important terminology (outcome, risk factor, and prevalence and incidence); uses of epidemiology; types of epidemiological studies.
Session 2 EPI: Randomized Control Trials: Process of RCT: clinical trials; relative and absolute risk; the number needed to treat (NNT).
Session 3 EPI: Cohort Studies: Types: prospective + retrospective; advantages and disadvantages; attributable risk and risk difference; twin studies.
Session 4 EPI: Case Control and Cross-Sectional Studies: Purpose, uses; advantages and disadvantages; odds ratio; sources of bias; late-look bias; recall bias.
Session 5 EPI: Internal Validity, Bias, Confounding: Internal validity; precision vs. accuracy; bias vs. imprecision; confounding and confounders; ways to prevent/control confounding; asses confounding; effect modification and external validity.
Session 6 EPI: Sources of Bias: Types of selection and information bias; how to avoid bias; Bradford-Hill criteria for causal association.
Session 7 EPI: PBL – Analyzing a Clinical Study
Session 8 EPI: Screening: Introduction to screening; measures of test performance; sensitivity; specificity; interpreting results; predictive value +/-; Bayes’ Theorem; common biases in the evaluation of screening programs (lead-time bias, length bias, and overdiagnosis).
Session 9 EPI: PBL – Evidence-Based Medicine


Grading System:

The final grade for this course will be based on a student’s score on the final exam1 (80%), class participation (in at least 7 lectures) and 1 presentation at the PBL session2 (20%).


1The exam is closed-book. A hand-calculator is permitted in the exam.
2Applies only if exam grade is 55 and above