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Courses Offered

PBHL 5173: Epidemiology IThis is an introductory course that focuses on the basic principles and methods of epidemiologic research and practice. It presents an overview of the history and theoretical basis of epidemiology, measures of morbidity and mortality, disease transmission and risk, major epidemiologic study designs, measures of association, sources of error including bias, confounding and interaction, evaluation of screening tests, inference and causality.

PBHL 5172 (formerly 5862): Application of Basic Epidemiologic TechniquesThis course gives students experience in the application of basic techniques used in epidemiology research and practice. Emphasis is placed on: calculation and interpretation of measures of morbidity, mortality and association; disease transmission and risk; major epidemiologic study designs; sources of error including bias; confounding and interaction; and evaluation of screening tests.

PBHL 5373: Epidemiology IIExtends consideration of concepts, methods, and strategies introduced in Epidemiology I. The course focuses on methodologic tools and skills needed to conduct or evaluate epidemiologic research and emphasizes tools and skills related to study design and data collection. Prerequisites: PBHL 5173: Epidemiology I and PBHL 5013: Biostatistics I or equivalents; PBHL 5023: Biostatistics II is strongly recommended and may be taken concurrently with PBHL 5373: Epidemiology II; this prerequisite may only be waived with the instructor’s permission.

PBHL 5671: Epidemiology III Laboratory (1 semester credit practicum): Analysis of existing dataset. Must be enrolled in PBHL 5673: Epidemiology III concurrently.

PBHL 5673: Epidemiology III: Extends consideration of concepts, methods, and strategies introduced in Epidemiology I and II. The course focuses on methodologic tools and skills needed to conduct or evaluate epidemiologic research and emphasizes tools and skills related to data analysis and interpretation. Prerequisites: PBHL 5173: Epidemiology I and PBHL 5373: Epidemiology II; PBHL 5013: Biostatistics I and PBHL 5023: Biostatistics II.

PBHL 5223: Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases: This course is designed for graduate students interested in chronic disease epidemiology. Chronic diseases to be discussed in this course include cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes mellitus, cancers and oral health. Emphasis will be on both the descriptive epidemiology and pathogenesis of each specific disease. Screening of chronic diseases will be also covered. Prerequisites: PBHL: 5173 Epidemiology I

PBHL 5483: Epidemiology of Infectious DiseaseThis course will provide an overview of the history, epidemiology, and control of various infectious diseases. A selective overview of immunology and molecular diagnostic methods will be provided as a foundation for later lectures. Major human pathogens will be addressed within the conceptual framework of foodborne, waterborne, and vectorborne diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, respiratory diseases, parasitic diseases, and vaccine preventable diseases. Prerequisites: PBHL 5173: Epidemiology I and PBHL 5373: Epidemiology II; PBHL 5013: Biostatistics I and PBHL 5023: Biostatistics II; or permission of the instructor.

PBHL 5493/9493: Clinical Epidemiology: This course is designed to introduce students to clinical epidemiology. Topics will include screening, diagnostic clinical research, prognostic clinical research and etiognostic clinical research, randomized and non-randomized clinical studies, clinical decision making and meta-analysis. This course also provides examples of how these methods are applied in actual clinical epidemiologic studies, and guidelines for critically evaluating evidence from these studies. Course evaluations will be based on the students’ performance in class participation, a mid-term examination, written assignments, as well as a written project demonstrating the students’ ability to apply these methods. Prerequisites: PBHL 5173: Epidemiology I and PBHL 5373 Epidemiology II or concurrent enrollment.

PBHL 5513 (NUSC 6233): Qualitative Methodology in Nursing ResearchExamines the philosophical foundation for and methodological issues in using qualitative approaches for scientific inquiry and knowledge development. Strategies for enhancing scientific and methodological rigor are explored.

PBHL 5523 (NUSC 6003): Qualitative Data Analysis Theory and PracticumExamines approaches to collecting, reducing, managing, and analyzing qualitative data. Explores qualitative software packages used in data management. The practicum portion of the course includes practice sessions for interviewing, coding data, establishing inter-rater agreement, and developing themes. Prerequisite: PBHL 5513: Qualitative Methodology in Nursing Research.

PBHL 5553: Cancer EpidemiologyThis course is designed to provide an overview of the epidemiology of common cancers as well as methodologic issues in etiologic research and cancer screening. Emphasis will be placed on risk factors that can be modified for cancer control and prevention. The course will address: geographic variation and temporal trends in cancer, cancer burden, biology of normal and cancer cells, biomarkers, selected risk factors (e.g., occupation, tobacco, alcohol, radiation, viruses, immunity, hormones, and genetic factors), and screening objectives, recommendations, and controversies. Prerequisites: PBHL 5173: Epidemiology I and PBHL 5373: Epidemiology II; PBHL 5013: Biostatistics I and PBHL 5023: Biostatistics II; or permission of the instructor.

PBHL 5683: Social EpidemiologyThis course is designed to examine the scientific basis for associations between social factors, both contextual (e.g., poverty, housing, education) and interpersonal (e.g., racism, social support, stigma), and health. In addition, students will be challenged to consider social factors in understanding the epidemiology of diseases, the design and implementation of health protection/promotion programs, and the implementation of health policy. Prerequisites: PBHL 5173: Epidemiology I; PBHL 5133: Introduction to Health Behavior and Health Education; or permission of the instructor.

PBHL 5863 Molecular Epidemiology:  Molecular epidemiology is an interdisciplinary research discipline that brings new technologies to bear on the questions typically asked by epidemiologists:  What are the causes of disease?  How can we identify people with elevated risks of disease?  What interventions will prevent disease and/or improve disease outcomes?  The objective of this course is to provide conceptual and practical knowledge of the methods used in molecular epidemiology.  Specifically, students will learn about: motivation and strategies for the application of molecular methods in etiologic and translational research; some novel and commonly used laboratory assays; measurement issues for biomarkers; methods used in genetic studies of complex diseases; phenotypic markers of exposure and disease; analytic issues and approaches to in the analysis of  high dimensional data; evaluation of biomarkers for clinical use; and ethical issues specific to biospecimen banking and genetic data.

PBHL 5893: Injury Epidemiology : This is an overview of the epidemiology of unintentional and intentional injuries, including methodologic issues in etiologic research and injury prevention. Emphasis will be placed on modifiable risk factors for injury prevention and control. Prerequisites: PBHL 5173: Epidemiology I, PBHL 5013: Biostatistics I, or permission of the instructor.

PBHL 596V: Directed Studies in Epidemiology (1-3): Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

PBHL 9013: Epidemiology II
Includes an advanced review of epidemiological methods and issues; covers sampling and data collection strategies, study design concerns, including bias, confounding, stratification; students will gain practice in interpreting and reporting research results. Prerequisites: PBHL 5173: Epidemiology I or its equivalent; Doctoral student standing in the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. Students who demonstrate proficiency in epidemiology methods beyond the level of this course will select, with assistance from the Chair of Epidemiology, another course in the department.

PBHL 9042 Principles and Practice of Public Health Surveillance

The course provides an introduction to current concepts, methods and techniques of public health surveillance and opportunities to build analytic, communications and computer skills. Also the class introduces concepts and applications to build core epidemiologic and cross-cutting competencies such as system thinking, integration of diverse individuals, groups and communities in the public health surveillance cycle, in order to produce public health outcomes, the capacity to craft effective communication of information based the analysis and interpretation of data. This class draws from the experience, data and practice of public health in Arkansas, the US and in international settings.

PBHL 9103: Community-Based Public Health Program Design/Evaluation (I) and PBHL 9113: Community-Based Public Health Program Design/Evaluation (2) 

These courses are a two semester series integrating concepts of community-based program design and evaluation.  The courses will be taught using an interdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on the community-based participatory model, although traditional and hybrid approaches will also be addressed. In the first course, students will learn about social and structural issues affecting both communities and the effectiveness of community-based public health programs. The role of the practitioner as a participant with communities in issue selection, data collection, and analysis will be examined to learn how to apply these concepts and methods to program design and implementation. A range of interventions, as well as the levels they target, will be described through illustrative case studies.  Prerequisites: Doctoral student standing in the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health; successful completion of three public health science core courses, including PBHL 9023: Advanced Health Behavior Theory or equivalent; PBHL 9473/5473:Health Services Research Methods or equivalent; or permission of instructor(s).

In the second course, evaluation frameworks, needs assessments, and logic models will be studied.  Performance evaluation as well as formative, process, impact, and outcome evaluation purposes and techniques will be compared.  Theoretical and pragmatic approaches to the design and implementation of evaluation protocols will be explored, along with the role of both quantitative and qualitative methods.  Prerequisites: Doctoral student standing in the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health; successful completion of PBHL 9103:Community-Based Public Health Program Design; successful completion of three public health science core courses, including PBHL 9023: Advanced Health Behavior Theory or equivalent; PBHL 9473/5473:Health Services Research Methods or equivalent; or permission of instructor (s).

PBHL 9142 Advanced Epidemiology Methods Lab I

This is an advanced, doctoral level course for students who require extensive preparation in epidemiologic theory and methodology. This course is designed to integrate methods introduced in Epidemiology III, Epidemiology III Lab, and Advanced Methods in Epidemiology I along with new methods in order to prepare students to apply these methods as independent researchers in epidemiology.

PBHL 9143 Advanced Epidemiology Methods

This is an advanced, doctoral level course for students who require extensive preparation in epidemiologic theory and methodology. Topics covered include causal inference; study design; the analysis of crude, stratified, and matched data; approaches to assessing effect modification and adjusting for confounding; modeling data; bias and the critical evaluation of epidemiological studies.

PBHL 9183 Psychiatric Epidemiology

This is an advanced course that focuses on the epidemiology of mental disorders. The nature of mental and behavioral disorders will be discussed, along with methodology to assess and study their distribution in the population. The course will also present descriptive epidemiology of psychiatric disorders and study the determinants and mechanisms of mental diseases. The course will provide an overview of how psychiatric epidemiology is used to accomplish various outcomes vital to public health. The course describes the natural history and prognosis of mental disorders, assesses the extent and importance of mental disorders in public health, identifies the causes or etiology of mental disorders (identifies risk factors), evaluates the effectiveness of disease prevention measures and healthcare for mental illnesses, and describes the foundation for public health policy development in addressing mental and behavioral health issues.

PBHL 9163 Genetics/Genetic Epidemiology

The course covers statistical models and methods that are used to understand human genetics and genomics; specifically how genetic information can be incorporated into statistical models to discover disease genes. Topics include basic molecular and population genetics, marker selection algorithms, multiple comparison issues, population stratification, genome-wide association studies, genotype imputation, analysis of microarray data (gene expression, methylation data, eQTL mapping), and next-generation sequencing data analysis. The focus is modern approaches to association analysis. Many examples illustrate key points. The course is intended for biostatisticians, epidemiologists, and quantitatively-oriented geneticists and health scientists wanting to learn about statistical methods for genetic and genome analysis, whether to better analyze genes-related data, or to pursue research in methodology. An intermediate background in statistical methods is required (Biostat II). No background in genetics is assumed.

 

PBHL 9883 Laboratory Methods in Epidemiology

Students in the MPH program often come from many different backgrounds and some have little background or understanding of laboratory science and its integral part of the health care system. This course will include a brief introduction to the laboratory profession, scope of practice, state/federal laws and regulations,code of ethics and various types of lab tests (hematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, immunology, serology, and molecular diagnostics). Students will acquire knowledge of commonly used laboratory techniques and an understanding of the testing procedures being carried out. They will also learn how tests can be affected by specimen collection and handling as well as issues related to strengths and limitations of the different testing procedures. Upon completion, students will be more familiar with general laboratory practice, and tests used in epidemiologic studies.

 

Other Relevant Non-Epidemiology Department Courses (Optional)

PBHL 5763 Categorical Data Analysis: (binomial and Poisson distributions, analysis of 2×2 tables, Fishers exact test, McNemar test, stratified analysis, trend analysis, and logistic regression).

PBHL 5063: Principles of Toxicology in Public Health (3)

PBHL 5153: Environmental Exposure Assessment (3)

PBHL 5233: Statistical Methods for Clinical Trials (3)

PBHL 5313: Nonparametric Methods

PBHL 9793: Designing and Analyzing Health Surveys: (Fundamentals of survey sampling & analysis, statistical analysis of national health surveys of interest) (3)

PBHL 5033: Biostatistics III Multivariate Analysis and Linear Models : (Multivariate linear models, survival analysis with covariates, repeated measures designs, principal components, factor analysis, clustering methods, intro to no-linear regression. (3)