MPHS Elective Courses
Click on a course title below to read a course description and syllabus. Electives offered outside the MPHS program are listed here.
Read the semester and academic calendar dates here.
M19-550 Randomized Controlled Trials
Fall 1 and 2
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to randomized controlled clinical trials. Topics include types of clinical trials research (efficacy and effectiveness trials), study design, treatment allocation, randomization and stratification, quality control, analysis, sample size requirements, patient consent, data safety and monitoring plans, reporting standards, and interpretation of results.Course activities:
lectures, manuscript critiques, class project, paperCourse note:
Students are strongly encouraged to have taken or be concurrently enrolled in M21-560.
Meets Mondays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.Syllabus
M19-532 Applied Qualitative Methods for Health Research
Fall 1 and 2
This course will introduce students to the most commonly used qualitative methods for medical-related research. It will provide a foundation in the application of qualitative methods to medical and health research. Topics addressed will include uses of qualitative data, designing studies, sampling strategies, collecting data, and qualitative analysis. A variety of methods will be discussed, with an emphasis on using focus groups and various interviewing techniques. Students will learn the best practices in qualitative research and how to critically evaluate qualitative studies and articles. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to plan, conduct, and analyze a qualitative study.
Course activities: lectures, discussion, article critiques, paper
Course notes: No pre-requisites. Having access to qualitative data will enhance the student’s experience, but is not required.
Meets Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
M19-5251 Using Administrative Data for Health Services Research
The objective of this advanced graduate course is to prepare highly motivated students to perform health services research using administrative data. Lectures will provide tutorials on national administrative databases, review journal articles using these databases, instruction in SAS programming and application of health services research methods using administrative databases. Strengths and limitations of large databases that are commonly used for research will be considered, and special attention will be devoted to large federal databases that are readily available to new investigators. Students will learn how to obtain, link, and analyze large databases, understand the key issues related to data security and confidentiality, and become knowledgeable about key methodologic issues in observational studies using administrative data. Students will evaluate published studies based on large administrative databases, develop a health services research proposal and complete a short research project that uses administrative data.
Course note: M19-501 and M21-560 are required prerequisites; SAS software required.
Meets Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
M19-561 – Epidemiology of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan
Fall 1 and 2
This course takes an integrated developmental approach to the epidemiology, etiology and evolving nosology of psychiatric disorders. The course is organized into four sections. Part I lays most of the conceptual groundwork needed to understand and plan research on psychiatric disorders and their risk factors in the general population. The next two sections mostly focus on the nosology, epidemiology and etiology of specific psychiatric disorders. Part II covers disorders that are traditionally considered child psychiatric disorders but have developmental consequences for adulthood and/or often persist chronically through adulthood. Part III covers psychiatric disorders more typical of adulthood as well as those that often emerge in adolescence or earlier but are more prevalent in adulthood. Finally, Part IV will be devoted to special topics in psychiatric and developmental epidemiology. By the end of the course, students with sufficient statistical background will be expected to design and conduct basic analyses of existing psychiatric epidemiologic data and others will be expected to conduct a literature review on a topic of their choice. Alternatively, students will have the option to prepare a poster submission and poster to submit to a meeting of their choice.
Course note: Students are strongly encouraged to have taken or be concurrently enrolled in M21-560 Biostatistics I or equivalent biostatistics course. Course master approval is required to waive this prerequisite.
Meets Fridays 1-4 p.m.
M19-540 Decision Analysis for Clinical Investigation and Economic Evaluation
Fall 1 and 2
In this course, we will introduce students to the methods and applications of decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis in health care technology assessment, medical decision making, and health resource allocation. At the conclusion of the class, the student will have an understanding of the theoretical basis for economic evaluation and decision analysis, its application, and hands-on experience in the application of the methods. Among the topics covered are the development of a research question, choice of decision perspective, development of a decision analytic model, estimation of costs and benefits, use of preference based measures, addressing uncertainty and preparation of a manuscript presenting a decision analytic study.
M19-530 Multilevel Models in Quantitative Research
Fall 1 and 2
This course covers statistical model development with explicitly defined hierarchies. Such multilevel specifications allow researchers to account for different structures in the data and provide for the modeling of variation between defined groups. The course begins with simple nested linear models and proceeds on to non-nested models, multilevel models with dichotomous outcomes, and multilevel generalized linear models. In each case, a Bayesian perspective on inference and computation is featured. The focus of the course will be practical steps for specifying, fitting, and checking multilevel models with much time spent on the details of computation in the R and bugs environments.
Prerequisite Details: This course assumes knowledge of basic statistics as taught in a first year undergraduate or graduate sequence. Topics should include: probability, cross-tabulation, basic statistical summaries, and linear regression in either scalar or matrix form. Knowledge of R, basic matrix algebra and calculus is helpful.
Meets Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m.
Syllabus and More Information
M19-570 Communicating Research Findings to the Media and Lay Audiences
A critical step in the dissemination of population-level clinical research is communicating research findings and key messages to the media and lay audiences. With conflicting messages coming from advocacy groups and others, the burden falls on the clinician-researcher to distill complex information, dispel misinformation, and tell a compelling story that resonates with the audience. The course will equip students with the skills, technique, experience and confidence needed to give successful, engaging media interviews and presentations related to the publication of research and expertise-specific topics. Through critique, tape and review exercises, class discussion, and guest speakers, students will learn all the facets that make an interview or presentation successful, including nonverbal communication and delivery skills (body language and vocal interpretation), content and messaging, and navigating interactions with the media. The instructor will evaluate each student’s skill set and create a working skills inventory on which the student will build throughout the course in a series of on-camera experiences.
M19 - 565 Methods for Studying Global Burden of Diseases
R. Price, G. Colditz
This short course provides an overview of the current methods for studying global burden of medical and psychiatric diseases. The first two sessions will provide students with a foundation for understanding and applying the current methodology used in studying global burden of diseases. The subsequent three sessions will apply this knowledge to the communicative and non-communicative diseases. We pay attention to the burden of psychiatric and addiction diseases in addition to physical diseases. At the end of this course, students will have learned major trends in global burden of diseases and be able to apply the knowledge of measurements to forecast the future of global burden of specific diseases of interest to develop policies, as well as prevention and intervention strategies targeted to specific nations or regions. This knowledge will assist students with interest in international research to select a disease phenotype with a significant burden on the population of the target nation or region.
Course Note: An elective course for MPHS; and a recommended course for the Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Sciences Concentration students. Pre-requisite: M19-501 Introduction to Epidemiology or coursemaster approval.
Meets Monday – Friday 1p.m. to 4 p.m.
M19-5252 Comparative Effectiveness Research
Spring 1 and 2 (1/18– 5/3/13)
This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to comparative effectiveness research. Topics include an overview of comparative effectiveness research, stakeholder engagement in comparative effectiveness research, designing comparative effectiveness research methodologic challenges in doing comparative effectiveness research, and recent developments in PCORI and Federal policy. Students will be expected to review and evaluate comparative effectiveness studies as well as actively participate in class discussions.
Course note: M19-501 and M21-560 are required prerequisites.
Meets Fridays 1 to 3 p.m.
M19-560 Principles of Shared Decision Making and Health Literacy in the Clinical Setting
Spring 1 and 2 (1/14/13 - 5/6/13)
M. Politi & K. Kaphingst
This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to principles of shared decision making and health literacy and their implications for clinical communication. Topics may include basic and applied research on shared decision making, principles of designing and evaluating patient decision aids, principles of health literacy, research on relationship between health literacy, numeracy, and health outcomes, best practices for communication with low-numerate and low-literate individuals, best practices (and controversies) in communicating probabilities and their associated uncertainty about screening and treatment outcomes, and best practices for designing and evaluating written information for clinical populations (such as intake forms, brochures, and informed consent documents).
Course activities: lectures, manuscript critiques, class project, paper
Meets Mondays 9 a.m. to noon
M19-526 Patient Safety, Quality Management and Quality Improvement
Spring 1 and 2 (1/16/13 - 5/8/13)
This course introduces principles of patient safety, quality measurement and quality improvement. Classes are designed to provide students with hands-on skills in systems thinking and in preventing, learning from, and dealing with medical error and adverse events. Students will also learn fundamentals in approaches to evaluating quality, including quantitative methods in measure development. We will discuss various approaches and challenges to knowledge translation and effective change management in improving quality. Students will be encouraged to use their real-world experiences in problem solving around patient safety concerns, to develop and evaluate quality measures in their respective fields and to develop a quality improvement project in their area of interest as part of the course.
Meets Wednesdays 9 a.m. to noon
M19-551 Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis
Spring 1 and 2 (1/18/13 - 5/3/13)
G. Colditz , M. Tuuli
Introduction to the use of meta-analysis and related methods used to synthesize and evaluate epidemiological and clinical research in public health and clinical medicine. Concepts introduced and illustrated through case studies of public health and medical issues.
Course activities: lectures, class discussion, group project, paper
Course note: M21-570 required prerequisite. Stata IC required.
Meets Fridays 9 a.m. to noon
M19-527 Development, Validation, and Application of Risk Prediction Models
Spring 1 and 2 (1/14/13 – 5/5/13)
G. Colditz, E. Liu, M.Olsen
This course will present an introduction to the methods of predictive modeling, with applications to both genetic and clinical data. Basic concepts and philosophy of supervised and unsupervised data mining as well as appropriate applications will be discussed. Topics covered will include multiple comparisons adjustment, cluster analysis, self-organizing maps, principal component analysis, and predictive model building through logistic regression, classification and regression trees (CART), multivariate adaptive splines (MARS), neural networks, random forests, and bagging and boosting. Approaches to validation will be discussed and strategies for estimation of added value with expanded variable lists will be a key focus of this applied quantitative methods course.
Course note: Biostatistics I and II (M21-560 and M21-570) are required prerequisites.
Meets Mondays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
M19-562 Addictions and Addictive Behaviors
Spring 1 and 2 (1/16/13 - 5/8/13)
R. Grucza, A. Agrawal
This course provides an overview of the principles of substance-related addictions and the processes and mechanisms that underlie addiction. Students will be introduced to the epidemiology and developmental course of addiction, risk and protective influences that act on the course of addiction and its adverse health consequences. Both genetic and environmental underpinnings will be discussed. The impact of policy and economics will be studied. Emerging addictive behaviors, effective interventions and treatment modalities will be discussed. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, complete written assignments (review paper format) and present one of their written assignments via in-class presentation.
Course activities: Lectures, class discussion, review paper presentation, three short papers.
Course note: A required course for the Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Sciences Concentration
Prerequisite: M21-560 Biostatistics I or coursemaster approval
Meets Thursdays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
M19-563 Introduction to Dissemination and Implementation Science
Spring 1 (2/6/13 - 3/6/13)
R. Brownson, E. Proctor
This course provides an introduction to dissemination and implementation (D&I) science (i.e., translational research in health). Topics include the importance and language of D&I science; designs, methods and measures; differences and similarities across clinical, public health and policy settings; selected tools for D&I research and practice; and future issues.
Course activities: Lectures, class discussions, manuscript critiques, class project (culminating in a poster)
Meets Wednesdays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Coming soon – Future MPHS Elective Courses
Learn about additional elective courses offered at Washington University in St. Louis