84245 - Medical Statistics and Epidemiology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

Select, apply and interpret the most common statistical tests for descriptive and comparative analyses used in the biomedical literature and in the clinical setting. Contrast different study designs used in clinical epidemiology and research, and compute measures of treatment efficacy and risk factor impact.

Course contents


Lecture 1.

  • Collecting data: why and how?
  • Developing a database: variable types and formats

Lecture 2.

  • Descriptive statistics of categorical, ordinal and continuous variables
  • Graphical representation of variables

Lecture 3.

  • Hypothesis formulation and testing
  • Confidence intervals
  • Parametric and non-parametric tests

Lecture 4.

  • Regression models: linear and logistic regression
  • Survival analysis: Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox regression
  • Epidemiology

Lecture 1.

  • The fundamentals of epidemiology: concepts, definitions and measures
  • Occurrence measures: incidence rate and prevalence

Lecture 2.

  • Relations between occurrence measures.
  • Effect measures: attributable risk, rates and fractions
  • Analysing binary data: relative risks and odds ratios

Lecture 3.

Epidemiological study design: cohort, case-control, cross-sectional, RCT

Lecture 4.

  • Evaluating the efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency of health care
  • Effect size
  • Sources of bias and confounding

Tutoring activities:

  1. How to create a database in Excel: a practical example with clinical data
  2. Introducing to statistical package Stata
  3. Developing a command syntax to run descriptive statistics
  4. Right and wrong graphical representations
  5. Developing a command syntax to run the most common statistical tests









Basic Epidemiology 2nd Edition by R. Bonita R. Beaglehole T. Kjellström, World Health Organization

free download at


Teaching methods

Lectures in person

Tutorials on statistical packages

Assessment methods



Teaching tools


stata syntax to run descriptive statistics and statistical tests

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Paola Rucci