Description: This course deals with selected applications of epidemiologic methods and findings to public-health and clinical practice. Class topics include utilization and quality of medical care, health needs assessment, health impact estimation, evaluation and economic analysis of interventions, systematic reviews and meta analysis, risk assessment and health policy. The major objective is to provide a framework for integrating causal inference and decision making, thereby bridging the gap between science and practice. Emphasis is given to conceptual and methodologic issues that confront researchers, health planners, policy analysts, and decision makers.
Course Goals: 1. To provide a framework for integrating causal inference with decision making, thereby bridging the gap between science and both public-health and clinical practice.
2. To become familiar with different approaches for applying epidemiologic principles and methods to health-services, evaluative, and policy research.
3. To understand the barriers and challenges for translating epidemiologic findings into public policy.
Competencies: Following the completion of this course, the student will be able to perform the following activities at a basic level: collect relevant information and data to estimate the potential impact of a planned intervention on one or more health outcomes; design a study to evaluate the health effect and cost-effectiveness of an intervention in a target population; critique publications dealing with health-services, outcomes, or clinical research, based on sound scientific principles, and conduct a systematic review; and conduct an analysis of a policy that depends in part on epidemiologic evidence.
Learning Objectives: Following the completion of this course, the student will be able to do the following at a professional level expected in the workplace: describe the connections between epidemiologic and health-services research; describe and compare alternative approaches for identifying predictors of healthcare utilization; describe alternative methods and limitations for measuring the quality of care and comparing quality across patient, provider, or institutional populations; describe approaches for measuring the need for health services in populations; describe the counterfactual (potential outcomes) method for estimating the expected impact of a planned population intervention; describe and compare experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational methods for evaluating the impact of interventions on population health; describe and compare benefit-cost analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; describe the components and problems of risk assessment; describe nontechnical aspects of risk evaluation including risk acceptability and perception; and describe barriers and challenges of translating empirical findings into public policy.