Skip to main content
Ieva Strēle

Study Course Description

Course Description Statuss:Approved
Course Description Version:4.00
Study Course Accepted:28.02.2020
Study Course Information
Course Code:SVUEK_121LQF level:Level 7
Credit Points:2.00ECTS:3.00
Branch of Science:MedicineTarget Audience:Medicine
Study Course Supervisor
Course Supervisor:Ieva Strēle
Study Course Implementer
Structural Unit:Department of Public Health and Epidemiology
The Head of Structural Unit:Ģirts Briģis
Contacts:Rīga, Kronvalda bulvāris 9, svekatrsu[pnkts]lv, +37167338307
Study Course Planning
Full-Time - 1. Semester No.
Lectures (number)Lecture Length (academic hours)Total Contact Hours of Lectures0
Classes (number)10Class Length (academic hours)4Total Contact Hours of Classes40
Total Contact Hours40
Study course description
Preliminary Knowledge:
Basics of human anatomy, histology, and physiology; basic arithmetic.
To provide knowledge and skills in research methodology necessary to read scientific literature, to apply principles of evidence-based medicine, to develop critical thinking, and to promote further research activities.
Topic Layout (Full-Time)
No.TopicType of ImplementationNumberVenue
1Introduction to health research. Research process. Protocol. Quantitative and qualitative approach. Epidemiology. Scientific problem. Research question, hypothesis and the aim of the study. Research ethics.Classes1.00auditorium
2Literature search. Types of scientific literature. Literature reviews.Classes1.00auditorium
3Causality. Dependent and independent variables. Exposure, risk factor and risk marker. Confounding and effect modification. Types of variables (numerical, categorical).Classes1.00auditorium
4Data collection and sources. Primary and secondary data. Disease classifications. Questionnaires. Sampling strategy and size. Random errors and biases.Classes1.00auditorium
5Basic epidemiological measures: prevalence, cumulative incidence and incidence rate. Crude, specific and standardized rates. Case fatality, proportionate mortality.Classes1.00auditorium
6Study designs: experimental, cohort, case-control, cross-sectional, ecological, and case series. Survival analysis.Classes1.00auditorium
7Measures of association: correlation, regression, cross-tabs, relative risk measures (risk ratio, rate ratio, odds ratio), attributable risk, attributable fraction, absolute risk reduction, numbers needed to treat.Classes1.00auditorium
8Diagnostic tests. Reliability and accuracy. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values. ROC curve.Classes1.00auditorium
9Presenting research results and scientific writing.Classes1.00auditorium
10Presentations of students’ research proposals.Classes1.00auditorium
Unaided Work:
Individual reading of literature. Self-assessment tests. Preparing a brief review of research methodology in published scientific papers.
Assessment Criteria:
Ability to prepare and present a brief review of research methodology in published scientific papers – 30% of the final grade. Exam grade – 70% of the final grade.
Final Examination (Full-Time):Exam (Written)
Final Examination (Part-Time):
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge:• Explain the difference between quantitative and qualitative research methods. • List the stages in the research process. • Identify ethical issues in health research. • Recognise different types of scientific literature. • Explain the difference between literature review and systematic literature review. • Interpret the concepts of “risk factor, cause, and confounder” in the context of multifactorial theory of causation. • Distinguish numerical and categorical variables. • Identify suitable data sources and data collection methods. • Describe the concept of representative sample. • Explain the difference between random errors and biases. • Provide examples of selection bias and information bias. • Distinguish prevalence and incidence measures. • Explain the purpose of age-standardisation procedure and interpret age-standardised rates. • List and describe epidemiologic study designs, their advantages and disadvantages. • Interpret measures of association. • Interpret measures of test sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values. • Explain the relationship between test sensitivity and specificity as illustrated by ROC curve. • Describe the traditional structure of conference abstracts and manuscripts in health sciences. • Recognise main principles of oral or poster presentations.
Skills:• Illustrate the link between the scientific problem, an appropriate research question and hypothesis. • Find applicable case definition. • Perform literature search in relevant databases, e.g., PubMed. • Draw simplified causal diagrams and define variables. • Use summary measures appropriate for numerical or categorical variables. • Develop simplified research questionnaire and data file. • Estimate sample size (for simple designs) using sample size calculators, e.g., OpenEpi. • Calculate basic epidemiological measures: prevalence, cumulative incidence and incidence rate. • Identify study designs in published papers. • Calculate measures of association: risk ratio, rate ratio, odds ratio, attributable risk, attributable fraction. • Calculate test sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values. • Present a hypothetical research proposal.
Competencies:• Formulate the scientific problem justified by literature. • Develop the research question, the aim and tasks to answer the question. • Choose a suitable study design and data collection methods. • Foresee potential threats to scientific validity of study results.
1Mārtinsone, K., Pipere, A. un Kamerāde, D. (red.) 2016. Pētniecība: teorija un prakse. Rīga: RaKa
2Baltiņš, M. 2003. Lietišķā epidemioloģija. Rīga: Zinātne.
3Bouter, L. M., Zielhuis, G. and Zeegers M. P. 2018. Textbook of Epidemiology. Bohn Stafleu van Loghum
4Jacobsen, K. H. 2017. Introduction to Health Research Methods. A Practical Guide. Jones & Bartlett Learning
1Mārtinsone, K. un Pipere, A. (red.) 2018. Zinātniskā rakstīšana un pētījumu rezultātu izplatīšana. Rīga: RSU
2Fletcher, R. H., Fletcher, S. W. and Fletcher, G. S. 2014. Clinical Epidemiology: The Essentials. 5th ed. Philadelphia: LWW