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Archived teaching schedules 2017–2018
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DPIPEF03 Analysis, validity and inference of observational epidemiology 2 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Postgraduate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology
Faculty of Social Sciences

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, the student will have improved his/her analytical skills to assess the validity of observational epidemiologic studies.

General description

This intensive, 4-day seminar course will introduce a variety of practical analytical approaches for addressing threats to validity in observational studies. Specific topics will include the limitations of traditional hypothesis testing in observational epidemiology, modern approaches to detecting and attenuating confounding, probabilistic correction for variable misclassification, and handling of missing data. These topics will be taught as non-technically as possible, but references and programming resources will be provided to allow for rigorous application of the methods. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on how to successfully incorporate these methods into real-world studies and subsequent publications. Examples using SAS R and Microsoft Excel will accompany many of the lectures. Students are expected to have a solid foundation in epidemiologic study design and biostatistics, including the interpretation of linear, logistic, and proportional hazards regression models, and will be asked to read two to three papers each night in preparation for the next day’s class. Examples using SAS R will focus on demonstrating the mechanics of implementing the methods, and will not assume familiarity with SAS R syntaxprogramming. Equivalent functions in Stata and R SAS will be pointed outdiscussed whenever applicable. Lecture content will be reinforced by afternoon laboratory sessions, in which students can apply the methods taught learned in lecture to the analysis of simulated data sets.

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Thomas Ahern, Teacher


14-May-2018 – 17-May-2018
Mon 14-May-2018 at 9-16, Arvo B342
Tue 15-May-2018 at 9-16, Morning 9-12 Arvo B342 and afternoon 13-16 computer class 71 (A3
Wed 16-May-2018 at 9-16, Morning 9-12 Arvo B342 and afternoon 13-16 computer class 71 (A3
Thu 17-May-2018 at 9-16, Morning 9-12 Arvo A308 and afternoon 13-16 computer class 71 (A3

Further information

Instructor: Thomas Ahern, PhD, MPH, University of Vermont, U.S.A.

Dr. Ahern studies the pharmacoepidemiology of breast cancer using the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study cohorts and the population-based medical registries of Denmark. He has lectured extensively in beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses in epidemiologic methods, and is experienced in the application of modern analytical concepts to practical research. Dr. Ahern received his PhD in epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health, completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cancer epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, and is currently an assistant professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.