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Applied statistics II - Epidemiology and Health Sciences

Courses leaders
Mahnaz Moghaddassi,
Jonas Björk,

Jonas Björk

General information
The course provides general knowledge about common statistical methods that are applicable in epidemiological and health research. The target group is all PhD students at the Faculty of Medicine who have epidemiology or health sciences as an essential part in their thesis work.

Passed course in applied statistics I is required together with basic knowledge in the statistical package used in the same course.


Autumn 2021
Weeks 45-46 in English

Spring 2021
Week 3-4, course days 18/1, 19/1, 20/1, 21/1, 25/1 (full days),  27/1 (half day) - in English  (Please Note: Week 3-4 will be given digitally!)
Week 15-16 Please Note: This course, week 15-16, will be given digitally!

3 hp

Malmö - Lecture room will be announced to the students.

The course will provide practical knowledge concerning the management and analysis of  empirical data in the chosen epidemiological and health research project. 
The course will also help the participants to be able to critically examine  various types of empirical research in medical science, also outside their own field of research.

Content of the course
The course contains four content areas:

1) Design and analysis of studies of binary outcomes
- Cohort and case-control studies
- Incidence and risk calculations
- The measure of association, odds ratios, absolute and relative comparisons
- Simple survival analysis (time to event)
- Power calculation

2) Introduction to correlation and regression analysis
-  Spearman rank and Pearson's correlation coefficient
-  Simple linear regression
-  Simple logistic regression

3) How to control for confounding effects
-  Overview of the different approaches
-  Overview of  common regression models
-  Using multiple logistic regression

4) Reliability analysis
-  Association vs consistency
-  Bland-Altman
-  Limits of agreement
-  ICC for continuous  data
-  Kappa calculations for categorical data, introduction to more advanced methods

This course in applied statistics with specialization in Epidemiology (Public Health) and Health Sciences provides participants with the necessary tools to plan, analyze, and evaluate common types of observational studies in these research fields.  Emphasis is placed on the use of regression methods as a way to manage confounding effects. 

The course provides an overview of commonly used regression models in this context, but  with primary focus  on  logistic regression analysis of case-control data. The course  addresses the difference between correlation, association, and consistency, and also provides an introduction to reliability analysis of both quantitative measurements and qualitative assessment instruments.

Take-home examination. To pass the course  it is not only required to have a passing grade on the examination, but also to have  completed the group assignment, including active participation in the discussions concerning both their own group work as well as the work of other groups.


Vittinghoff E, Glidden DV, Shiboski SC, McCulloch CE. Regression methods in biostatistics. Springer, 2nd edition, 2012. Chapters  3.1-3.5, 4.1–4.4 & 5.1-5.4. 
(The book is available as e-book at Lund University)

As a reference to the section on the design and analysis of binary outcomes (theme No. 1) the same book is used as in the course 
Epidemiology I – Introduction till epidemiology: 
Rothman KJ. Epidemiology – an introduction. Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2012.

The articles  that  deal with the topic of reliability analysis (theme No. 4) will be handed out at the start of the course.


Last day for application for compulsory courses autumn 2021, is March 18.
Application form

If questions about available course spots, please contact Anette Åkerberg at

Course coordinator:

Jonas Björk

Helena Jernström

Please contact Jonas or Helena if you have any general questions regarding the PhD-courses in Statistics.
This also applies to any requests regarding credit transfer.

Please contact the course leaders if questions about schedule issues, in the event of absence and other things that are directly related to the course.


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