84245 - Medical Statistics and Epidemiology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

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.

  • The importance of medical statistics for research and clinical practice
  • 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

Lecture 4.

  • Correlation and regression analysis


Lecture 1.

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

Lecture 2.

  • Relations between occurrence measures
  • Effect measures: attributable risk, rates and fractions

Lecture 3.

  • Measures of diagnostic accuracy

Lecture 4.

  • Epidemiological study designs: cohort, case-control, cross-sectional, RCT
  • Analysing binary data: relative risks and odds ratios


Pagano, M., and K. Gauvreau. 2018. Principles of Biostatistics, 2nd ed. New York: Chapman and Hall/CRC.

Recommended chapters: 1-3, 9-13, 15, 17-21


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

free download at


Teaching methods

Lectures in person

Assessment methods

Written test (for examination dates, see almaesami.unibo.it)

The test consists of 32 4-choice questions. Only one answer is correct. There are no penalties for wrong or blank answers.

The test must be completed in 45 minutes.

Module                                      CFU Questions

History of Medicine                         1 4

Ethics and Behavioural Sciences      2 8

Medical Statistics and Epidemiology 2 8

Scientific Research Methodology      1 4

Determinant of Health and Disease  2 8

Number of right answers


31/32 30L

30 30

29 29

28 28

27 27

26 26

25 25

24 24

23 23

22 22

21 21

20 20

19 19

18 18

<18 Fail

≥18 and 0 right answers in any module: Fail

The test must be completed in 45 minutes.

Grade acceptance/refusal

Grades are published within 3 days on AlmaEsami.

The student can refuse the grade within 5 days from publication by sending an e-mail to Prof. Rucci (paola.rucci2@unibo.it) and the Program coordinator (medicine.surgery@unibo.it).

All refusals must be sent from the institutional e-mail address @studio.unibo.it

After 6 days from publication, the acceptance will be taken for granted and the exam will be recorded.

Teaching tools


interactive tests

Office hours

See the website of Paola Rucci