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Epidemiology Homework Assignment - Questions and Answers

Question #1

Please complete all questions of the homework assignment.  For any questions involving calculations, show ALL your work.

You are interested in studying the diagnosis of Type II diabetes in children and adolescents in Topeka, Kansas during the 2019 calendar year.  What would be your target population (age group, gender, etc.)?  What would be your actual population?  What would be your study population?  There is no one right answer (though there are wrong ones!) to this as it requires you determine your populations based on the course material.  Briefly explain how you decided upon your responses, keeping in mind the material covered in class.

Define the terms ‘inclusion criteria’ and ‘exclusion criteria’.  Please list three specific, potential inclusion criteria and three specific, potential exclusion criteria for a hypothetical cohort study of the effects of meat consumption on the incidence of colorectal cancer.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using clinical populations for an epidemiologic study?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using community populations for an epidemiologic study?

What type of validity is more important to a study, internal or external?  Why?

In a study of fruit and vegetable intake in relation to breast cancer incidence, researchers are weighing those in their study population on a scale at their office.  Below is a table of five of the subjects and their actual weight versus the weight reported by the scale.

Subject Actual Weight Weight Reported By Scale Weight Reported By Scale

(2nd measurement)

1 150 160 162

2 175 185 185

3 120 130 129

4 110 120 119

5 140 150 150

Assess the scale with regards to accuracy, bias, error, precision, reliability, and validity.  Keep in mind that while an inanimate object itself cannot be biased, its output (weight display) can be biased.

What could be done to make this study better regarding the properties you just discussed about the scale?

What is the counterfactual ideal and how do randomized trials attempt to achieve this ideal?

How do placebos “work”?  Describe your own hypothetical randomized trial and state what placebo will be used and why.  Make sure your trial is logical and thoughtful … not just “two different pills given to two groups …”.

Define randomization.  List three major objectives in a randomized clinical trial.

Describe a situation in which a randomized clinical trial could be considered unethical (do not use the example(s) from the lecture material or textbook – come up with your own).  What other methods of study could be used in these situations and briefly, how would these other methods better answer your research question(s)?  Discuss any potential limitations of using these other methods.

What distinctive features of experimental studies (i.e., randomized clinical trials) enhance their ability to produce scientifically rigorous results?

Describe two hypothetical examples (create your own), one to test a ‘small’ difference and one to test a ‘large difference’ and explain the differences in the two examples and why each needs a certain level of power.  Why are the sample sizes and powers you specify needed for your examples?  Logically explain these needs.

DNP Program

This assignment partially fulfills the following NUR 735 Course Objectives for this course:

1.Describe concepts of epidemiology and its impact on population health.

2.Interpret biostatistical methods in epidemiology relevant for the development, implementation, and evaluation of health services.

3.Evaluate epidemiological study designs used for disease tracking.