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Principles of clinical research


Clinical epidemiology research is focused on questions 1) etiology, 2) diagnosis, 3) prognosis and 4)
1. Clinicians frequently make judgements about whether a medical intervention is harmful for the
patient. Students will learn to evaluate evidence about this subject for its validity, importance and
direct relevance to patients.
2. With respect to diagnostic studies, students will become familiar with (gold) standard of diagnosis, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values. Students will be trained to judge whether the results of a diagnostic study can be regarded as valid and how they can apply a diagnostic test in a patient.
3. Clinicians consider questions about prognosis all the time (“how long have I got?” may be a typical
question from a patient). In this course, we will present a framework for appraising the validity, importance, and applicability of evidence about prognosis.
4. Students will become familiar with the gold standard for evaluating questions relating to the efficacy of therapeutic and preventive strategies.

In the course, the principles and practice of clinical epidemiology will be considered and examples from the
literature will be worked out and discussed. In addition, the design of occurrence relations for clinical research problems of etiology, diagnosis, prognosis and intervention will be addressed. It also discusses the research methods for this. The course will be based on examples from real life clinical problems and includes a number of exercises.

Acquisition of a thorough understanding of principles of clinical research which will enable students to understand and carry out clinical epidemiological research projects.
More specifically:

  • Define a valid research question.

  • Understand/apply the principles of clinical research to various research questions.

Teaching formats:
Lectures, working groups, assignments, group discussion

These lectures lead up to final assignment II: writing a research article.