First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP4063368, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SS1736, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Statistical Sciences
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge GIOVANNA BOCCUZZO SECS-S/05

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines SECS-S/01 Statistics 4.0
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines SECS-S/05 Social Statistics 5.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 4.5 32 80.5 No turn
Lecture 4.5 32 80.5 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2014 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
5 Commissione a.a.2019/20 01/10/2019 30/09/2020 BOCCUZZO GIOVANNA (Presidente)
CORTESE GIULIANA (Membro Effettivo)
4 Commissione a.a.2018/19 01/10/2018 30/09/2019 BOCCUZZO GIOVANNA (Presidente)
VENTURA LAURA (Membro Effettivo)
3 Commissione a.a. 2017/18 01/10/2017 08/11/2018 BOCCUZZO GIOVANNA (Presidente)
VENTURA LAURA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Statistics (advanced)
Students should have a basic knowledge of: epidemiology, medical statistics and the statistical software products SAS and R.
Target skills and knowledge: The course provides the methodology and the instruments for doing research in the epidemiological and clinical fields. At the end of the course, students will have the skills necessary to carry out an epidemiological study, starting from the approach to the final report.
Examination methods: Oral examination with discussion of a final report, and presentation in groups of a topic, related to current events or to methodological/epidemiological topics.
The final report is developed alone or in pairs, and deals with the analysis of a topic based on real data. The topic is decided with the teacher.
Assessment criteria: The final evaluation is based on: the knowledge shown during the oral examination, the final report and the presentation.
The final grade is a weighted mean of the grades obtained in the three parts; weights are 2/5 for the oral examination, 2/5 for the final report and 1/5 for the presentation.
Grades of the final report and presentation are valid for one year, even if the oral examination were to be not sufficient. These two grades are announced before the oral examination.
Course unit contents: 1. Refresher about epidemiological studies. Case-control studies, case-cohort studies, cumulative case-control studies, case-control studies with prevalent data. Refresher about the measures of occurrence of a disease and the measures of association between disease and risk factor, concepts of confounding and effect modifier.
2. Social epidemiology. Methods for checking the presence of confounding in observational studies: logistic regression for matched case-control studies, propensity score matching, models for ordinal outcomes; measures of population health and socio-economic status; health inequalities: measure and decomposition; mediation analysis; natural experiments and instrumental variables. Computer lab with SAS and R.
3. Clinical research protocol. Study design, treatment allocation, randomization and standardization, optimal sample size, ethical aspects, interpretation of results. Randomized trials to test the effectiveness of a drug. Sequential trials. Adaptive Group Sequential Designs for Clinical Trials (Phase I, II and III): pros and cons respect to studies with fixed sample size. Stopping rules for ineffective treatments. Reading and discussion of scientific articles.
4. Meta-Analysis. Introduction, preparing data, estimating and combining the effect sizes, testing heterogeneity, publication bias, how to report results. Computer lab with R.
5. Genetic epidemiology. Mendelian randomization. Familial aggregation, regression for familial data: generalized estimating equations and marginal models. Computer lab with SAS.
6. Environmental epidemiology: methodology and case studies. Decsriptive analysis: time clustering, cyclic patterns, longitudinal trends, mapping. Models of disease risk: Poisson and binomial regression, confounding. Reading and discussion of scientific articles.
7. Epidemiology of communicable disease. Surveillance: notification and information system. Mathematical models of the epidemic.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The whole course enables to acquire both knowledge both transversal and technical skills.
The course is organized with frontal classes, computer lab, reading and discussion of scientific articles, and lectures given by experts.
During the course students will work in groups or pairs, in order to produce a final report and a presentation.
Additional notes about suggested reading: The course material is available in moodle (slides, lab programs and outputs - only in this case after the lesson, free books, articles, dossier for the presentation) apart from books with copyright, that are available in the library of the department.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Vineis P., Duca P. e Pasquini, Manuale di metodologia epidemiologica.. --: Numero speciale di Epidemiologia e prevenzione n.3, 1987. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Rothman, Kenneth J.; Greenland, Sander, Modern epidemiologyKenneth J. Rothman, Sander Greenland, Timothy L. Lash. Philadelphia [etc.]: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • D.W. Hosmer, S. Lemeshow, Applied Logistic Regression. New York: Wiley, 2000. Cerca nel catalogo
  • M. Borenstein et al, Introduction to Meta-Analysis. Chichester, UK: Wiley, 2009. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Oakes, J. Michael; Kaufman, Jay S., Methods in social epidemiologyedited by Michael Oakes, Jay S. Kaufman. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2017. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Edited by I. Dos Santos Silva, Cancer Epidemiology: Principles and Methods. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1999. Full text: Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Working in group
  • Problem solving

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Good Health and Well-Being Clean Water and Sanitation Reduced Inequalities Sustainable Cities and Communities