Master's degree in Nursing and Obstetrics (Verona)

Epidemiology, statistics and research - STATISTICA PER LA RICERCA SPERIMENTALE

Course code
Name of lecturer
Maria Elisabetta Zanolin
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
LMSIO VR - 1° ANNO 1° SEM. dal Nov 14, 2019 al Mar 14, 2020.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing the theoretical tools to assess the frequency of diseases in human populations and the associated risk factors, i.e. skills in epidemiology and biostatistics.

At the end of the course the student must demonstrate to have acquired knowledge and skills concerning the main designs of an observational epidemiological study and the statistical methods for the analysis of biomedical data, and to know how to interpret and communicate the results of an analysis in a clear and concise way.



The measurement process in medicine: measurement scales, validity, precision and accuracy
Statistical variables and frequency distributions
How to summarize the distribution of one or more variables: measures of location and dispersion, contingency tables


Definitions of probability
Rules of probability calculation
Independent and conditional probabilities
Random variables
Gauss and Student's T distributions
How to assess the validity of a diagnostic tool: sensitivity and specificity, ROC curves


An outline of sampling theory
Sample distribution of an estimator
Confidence interval
The logic of the statistical test: null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis, type I and type II errors, power of a statistical test, p-value, z test and t test


Definition and objectives of epidemiology
Measures of disease frequency: prevalence, cumulative incidence, incidence rate
Measures of association: attributable risk, relative risk, odds ratio
Design and analysis of an observational epidemiological study: cross-sectional, case-control and cohort designs
Effect modification
Causal interpretation of an empirical association: random variability, systematic variability (selection bias and information bias), confounding

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Dunn G, Everitt B Biostatistica Clinica Il pensiero scientifico editore 1999
W. W. Daniel, C. L. Cross Biostatistica Concetti di base per l’analisi statistica delle scienze dell’area medico-sanitaria (Edizione 3) EdiSES 2019 9788833190419
K.J. Rothman Epidemiologia Idelson-Gnocchi 2007
Jekel JF, Katz DL, Elmore JG, Wild DMG Epidemiologia, Biostatistica e Medicina Preventiva Elsevier-Masson 2009
Verlato G, Zanolin ME Esercizi di Statistica Medica, Informatica ed Epidemiologia Libreria Cortina Editrice, Verona 2000
Swinscow TDV, Campbell MJ Le basi della Statistica per scienze bio-mediche Edizioni Minerva Medica S.p.A., Torino 2004
Fowler J, Jarvis P, Chevannes M Statistica per le Professioni Sanitarie EdiSES srl, Napoli 2006

Assessment methods and criteria

The final test is a written exam with short answer questions and multiple choice questions.
The aim of the test is to verify the knowledge of all the topics discussed.
The final evaluation is expressed in thirtieths.

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