Course catalogue doctoral education - HT21

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Application closed
Title Life Course Trajectories - methods and applications in public health research
Course number 2748
Programme 0-Not part of doctoral programme
Language English
Credits 6.0
Date 2014-03-17 -- 2014-04-25
Responsible KI department Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Specific entry requirements Knowledge in epidemiology corresponding to course 1577 Epidemiology I: introduction to epidemiology; knowledge in statistics corresponding to course 1579 Biostatistics I - introduction for epidemiologists
Intended learning outcomes After the course, the students should be able to show a solid basic knowledge about life course research and the application of trajectory methods in public health research, should be able to critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different trajectory methods in relation to a concrete research question in public health epidemiology, as well as run simple trajectory models using SAS or SPSS.
Contents of the course Life course epidemiology and statistical methods for analysing trajectories have developed rapidly during the last decades. Trajectories have several important advantages. One is that they produce graphical outputs that present complex data in a way which can be intuitively grasped also by the non-specialist. Another is that although observational data cannot prove causality, trajectories based on intra-individual data with multiple repeat observations can provide much better evidence regarding the relationship between exposures and outcomes than cross-sectional studies or studies based on only two measurement points. They have for instance been used to study the effect of retirement on perceived health, to identify how long before a diagnosis of diabetes blood glucose starts to deviate from normal, as well as to examine how social class impacts on the development of body mass index from the middle years to old age. It is also possibly to identify different developmental patterns in longitudinal data using latent class trajectory models. The latter model has lately been used quite extensively in alcohol research, where patterns of drinking over the life course can be related both to determinants and outcomes, yielding a better understanding of what constitutes dangerous drinking and how it is established. During the course, we will give an overview of both life course epidemiology and trajectory methods, look in-depth at some practical applications in public health research presented by the original authors themselves, as well as run some basic trajectory analyses using common statistics programs and own or provided data.
Teaching and learning activities Lectures, seminars and statistics workshops.
Compulsory elements All lectures, seminars and workshops are obligatory. Absence from the obligatory moments is compensated according to the instructions of the course director.
Examination Each student will be given a choice of one of the following:
-a 3000 word journal article based on own statistical analyses using own or provided data
-a review article based on trajectory analyses relating to a specific topic
-a critical evaluation of the utility of different trajectory methods in relation to a topic from a list
Literature and other teaching material Kuh D, Ben-Shlomo Y. A life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

In addition papers/bookchapters assigned by lecturers.
Number of students 10 - 25
Selection of students Selection will be based on 1) the relevance of the course syllabus for the applicant's doctoral project (according to written motivation), 2) date for registration as a doctoral student (priority given to earlier registration date)
More information The students are expected to read articles and book chapters as indicated by the course director amounting to one week's work as preparation for the two course weeks which will be held in Stockholm 31 March through 11 April 2014. After this, the students will be given an examination assignment which will take approximately one week to complete. During the two course weeks in Stockholm, the student's will meet several internationally leading researchers from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and the UK. Lectures, seminars and statistics workshops held in the premises of the Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University during two calendar weeks. Before these weeks, the students are expected to watch an introductory webcast lecture and during one week study articles and book chapters as indicated by the course director. A fourth week will be needed for the examination assignments. The course itself is fully financed by the Forte financed research school at the Stockholm Stress Center, in which the Department of Clinical Neuroscience is a partner, as well as by a Forte programme grant held by the course director at Stockholm University. However, there will be no reimbursement available for costs that the students may have for travel, accomodation etc. in connection with the obligatory course weeks in Stockholm.
Additional course leader Dr. Martin Hyde, Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University,
Latest course evaluation Not available
Course responsible Hugo Westerlund
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Contact person Anette Hedberg
Institutionen för klinisk neurovetenskap