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HS5104 Practical Epidemiology

HS5104 Practical Epidemiology

Component no.: 2

Title: Epidemiological Report

Format: Essay

Word count: 2500

This assignment is intended to assess the following learning outcomes:

  1. Understand the key concepts underpinning the discipline of epidemiology
  2. Select an appropriate study design when confronted with an epidemiological research question
  3. Analyse and interpret epidemiological data derived from cross-sectional, case-control and follow-up studies;
  4. interpret the results of basic statistical analyses and define key terms used in them
  5. Enter and manage computerised epidemiological data;
  6. Carry out appropriate statistical analyses of epidemiological data;
  7. Summarise and present data in graphs, tables and other figures;
  8. Assess the results of epidemiological studies, including critical appraisal of the study question, study design, methods and conduct, statistical analyses and interpretation.
  9. Use a statistical software package
  10. Demonstrate transferable epidemiological data management and analysis skills.
  11. Demonstrate ability of critical evaluation of studies conducted by other investigators.

Details of the task

This assessment requires you to identify a relevant epidemiological research question, access and analyses relevant datasets and write a full epidemiological report.  The report will include context to the study, clearly stating a research question, providing full details of methods used and discussion of the relevance of the study.  Individual sections of the report should include

Title:

A short statement to clearly indicate what the study is about.  Use keywords to catch the reader’s attention.  The title should include information on the study design, the population and the main exposure and outcome measures.

Abstract:

A short, but representative summary of all the main components of the thesis/report.  A few lines for each section of the report (max 250 words)

Introduction/Background:

What is the rationale for the study? How does it fit into current the social, political, economic or health care context?  Why is the outcome measure(s) important?  Is there a supporting theory for the study? (300 words)

Literature Review:

What is already known? What is not known? Are there previous studies that are comparable? What methods have been used previously?  What are the gaps in knowledge? (300 words)

Aims/Research Questions:

Based on what you have said in the background, introduction and literature review sections, what is the specific research question that aim to answer through your study? This should be one or two very specific research questions that are achievable using the methods that you propose.  For example: a) describing trends over time or across populations in a health outcome or health behaviour; b) describing relationships between and exposures, outcomes and/or behaviours (150 words).

Methods:

A step by step guide to how you collected/accessed and analysed the data/information that you required to answer you research question(s).  This section should include information on; sample size, sampling methods; data collection processes; measurements e.g. survey design or testing, data analysis, exposure and outcome variables (500 words).

Results:

In this section you should clearly describe the results of your analyses with specific reference to your research questions. E.g. What are the main findings in relation to trends or relationships? You should include text graphs and/or tables as appropriate and information about point estimates and statistical significance (400 words). 

Discussion:

In this section you should interpret your results and establish what they mean in the context of previous findings in the literature.  It should include: a) statement of main findings; b) strengths and limitations of the study and strengths and limitations in relation to other studies; c) similarities and differences in findings from other studies; d) relevance of the study findings and implications for policy makers and others; unanswered research questions and future research priorities (400 words).

Conclusion:

Clearly state the answer to your original research question based on what you discovered through your study.  Include a statement of the relevance of this information in the context of previous research (200 words).


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