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Principles of Epidemiology

Objectives

This course will concentrate on the use of epidemiology to understand, prevent, and control infectious diseases.

Module I – Introduction to Epidemiology
Module II – The Infectious Disease Process
Module III – Public Health Surveillance
Module IV – Statistical Measures
Module V – Displaying and Interpreting Epidemiologic Variables
Module VI – Interviewing 101
Module VII – An Outbreak Case Study
Module VIII – Preparing An Outbreak Investigation Report

Module I – Introduction to Epidemiology (top)

Objectives: Students who complete this module will be able to

  • Define key epidemiologic terms
  • Describe at least five factors that significantly influence the incidence and distribution of a disease in a human population
  • Describe the modern approach to epidemiology

Module II – The Infectious Disease Process (top)

Objectives: Students who complete this module will be able to

  • Describe the six major components of the infectious disease process
  • Demonstrate understanding of the concepts of the infectious disease spectrum

Module III – Public Health Surveillance (top)

Objectives: Students who complete this module will be able to

  • Define public health surveillance and describe its components
  • Demonstrate understanding of the purposes of surveillance and how it relates to public health action
  • Describe the two basic forms of surveillance and the most common sources of surveillance information
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how to evaluate and improve surveillance systems

Module IV – Statistical Measures(top)

Objectives: Students who complete this module will be able to

  • Define the most common statistical frequency measures used in infectious disease epidemiology
  • Construct a frequency distribution
  • Calculate and interpret the following statistical measures:
  • Ratios
    Proportions
    Incidence rates, including attack and secondary attack rates
    Prevalence
    Mortality rates
  • Choose and apply the appropriate statistical measures

Module V – Displaying and Interpreting Epidemiologic Variables (top)

Objectives: Students who complete this module will be able to

  • Define the three categories of epidemiologic variables
  • Identify the three main methods used to organize epidemiologic data
  • Correctly interpret graphic presentations of epidemiologic data
  • Choose appropriate display methods and formats for specific kinds of epidemiologic data

Module VI – Interviewing 101 (top)

Objectives: Students who complete this module will be able to

  • Define the purpose and goals of epidemiologic interviewing
  • Describe methods used to assure confidentiality
  • Identify the three components of effective communication
  • Describe several techniques for maintaining objectivity and eliciting accurate information

Module VII– An Outbreak Case Study (top)

Objectives: Students who complete this module will be able to

  • Apply the information learned in previous modules to perform an outbreak investigation
  • Identify the steps in disease outbreak investigation
  • Identify the data needed for the investigation and how to collect it
  • Correctly analyze the information given in the case study and draw appropriate conclusions
  • Identify effective measures to control the outbreak and prevent recurrences

Module VIII– Preparing An Outbreak Investigation Report(top)

Objectives: Students who complete this module will be able to

  • Identify the purposes of an epidemiologic report
  • Define the elements of an epidemiologic report
  • Prepare a complete and properly sequenced report
  • Describe the appropriate distribution of an epidemiologic report