Exam #2 Study Guide

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·      Chapter 4

o   Define Descriptive Epidemiology

o   Answers who, what, when, where

o   Different descriptive study designs – define, compare/contrast, identify strengths/weaknesses of each study design

§  Ecologic study

·      What is the ecologic fallacy?

§  Case Report and Case Series

§  Cross-Sectional Surveys

§  Serial surveys

o   Kinds of data in descriptive epidemiology

§  Nominal

§  Ordinal

§  Discrete

§  Continuous


Be able to define/identify/calculate (where applicable) and interpret the following:


o   What is a ratio? A proportion? A rate?

§  Incidence-density rates (person-time rate)

§  Attack rate (cumulative incidence rate)

§  Prevalence rate

o   Crude and age-adjusted incidence and mortality rates

§  Rationale for adjustments

§  How to adjust

·      Direct Method

·      Indirect Method

o   Standardized Morbidity (or Mortality) Ratio (SMR)

o   Numerical methods to present epidemiological data

§  Measures of central tendency

·      Mean, median, mode

§  Measures of dispersion

·      Range, standard deviation

o   Empirical rule (see p. 105-106)

o   Measures of statistical association

§  Correlation co-efficient


·      Chapter 5

o   Descriptive epidemiology and person, place, time

o   Why is descriptive epidemiology helpful for health care administrators and/or health education specialists?

§  Person

·      Age

o   Population pyramids

§  Shapes of pyramids indicative of birth rates, mortality rates, socio-economic factors, etc.

o   Dependency ratio – what is it, and its importance?

·      Gender

·      Race/Ethnicity

·      Marital/family status

·      Family structure

·      Occupation

·      Education

§  Place

·      How can utilize  data based on place?

§  Time trends – compare/contrast

·      Secular trends

·      Cyclic patterns

·      Season trends


·      Chapter 6 – General Health and Population Indicators


Be able to identify/define/calculate (where applicable) and interpret the following health indicators:


o   Birth

§  Birth rate

§  Fertility rate

§  Total fertility rate

§  Contraceptive prevalence

o   Mortality

§  Three things that generally cause death (see p. 159)

§  Who certifies a death?

§  Cause of death and death certificate data

·      What data are on a death certificate?

§  Types of mortality rates

·      Crude mortality rate

·      Cause-specific mortality rate

§  Infant mortality rate

·      Why is this a major health status indicator?

·      Neonatal mortality rate –

o   Post neonatal mortality rate

o   Perinatal mortality rate

·      Fetal death rate (stillbirth)

§  Abortion rate

§  Maternal mortality rate – Why is this a major health status indicator?

§  Proportional mortality ratio (PMR)

§  Case fatality ratio (CFR)

§  Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL)

·      How to calculate YPLL?

·      YPLL Rate – why use YPLL rate?





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