VET10170 Introduction to veterinary epidemiology

VET10170 Introduction to veterinary epidemiology

VET10170 Introduction to veterinary epidemiology 150 150 Peter

VET10170 Introduction to veterinary epidemiology

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module introduces three core elements: Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Evidenced-based Veterinary Medicine. First, it introduces the fundamentals of epidemiology (approximately 11 lectures). Epidemiology relates to the study of the distribution and determinants of outcomes in populations. As it pertains to veterinary medicine, it is most often used as a tool to study the distribution of the determinants of animal diseases. Second, given the important role of biostatistics in population sciences, its increasing prevalence in veterinary practice and its centrality to the execution and interpretation of veterinary epidemiologic research, the module also introduces bio-statistical content (approximately 5 lectures) that the graduating veterinarian should be familiar with. Finally, it introduces aspects of evidence-based veterinary medicine(approximately 6 lectures). Evidence-based veterinary medicine has been defined as the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of animals. In large part, this evidence is drawn from a critical understanding of the published scientific literature. Students need a sound understanding of these related subjects, as they are relevant to both veterinary clinical medicine and veterinary research.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

• Articulate the epidemiologic approach to the study of diseases and state its underlying assumptions about the occurrence of outcomes in the natural world.

• List, recognise and interpret the fundamental measures of disease frequency used in epidemiology and understand the centrality of denominators to epidemiologic inference.

• Distinguish between different measurement scales, categorical and continuous variables. Recognize the most common statistical tests used to compare categorical and and continuous variables.

• Explain what is meant by the term “risk factor” and interpret the most commonly used measures of effect in epidemiology. Explain why effect estimation is preferable to a simple determination of association.

• Interpret p-values and confidence intervals and explain why the latter provides more information to the reader than the former. Construct confidence intervals for basic epidemiologic measures.

• Understand the major issues in the application of diagnostic tests to veterinary medicine. They should be familiar with factors that affect sensitivity and specificity, why predictive values are more helpful in decision making than sensitivity and specificity, use a nomogram to make a clinical decision based in part, on the results of a diagnostic test and critically appraise literature validating a diagnostic test.

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