Statistics for Evidence Based Medicine

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The general objective of the course is to develop the critical ability to evaluate the scientific evidence in support of the medical acts of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation with reference to the integration of anamnestic data, the physical examination and diagnostic tests, of the practical effectiveness of the therapy, and of the prognostic indicators.

In the training process of the physician, the acquisition of this ability contributes, in the ethical and deontological perspective, to the construction of a mental habitus capable of integrating, in the practice of daily practice, clinical knowledge deriving from direct personal experience, the values expressed by the assisted persons and the knowledge produced by good clinical and biomedical research. A habit that is now considered necessary for all doctors, and in particular for general practitioners, who are increasingly involved in health research and in the evaluation processes of the effectiveness of their professional practice.

As specific objectives, the course aims to develop the knowledge a practical skills for:
i) statistical methods that allow to describe and evaluate the different sources of variability;
ii) diagnostic tests and related measures of reliability and diagnostic relevance;
iii) basic principles of planning observational studies, interpretation of measures of disease occurrence and association between risk factors and disease occurrence;
iv) the relationships between statistics and the fundamentals of the inductive / deductive scientific method for empirical research with reference to the planning of observation and experimental studies and to the methods of statistical inference;
basic principles of ethics and the relationship with the methodology of biomedical research with specific reference to experimental studies of therapeutic efficacy.
Expected learning outcomes
The course aims to provide the methodological tools needed to learn, apply and evaluate, through critical analysis of the medical literature:
- the validity of anamnestic data and objective findings
- the concepts of reliability, accuracy and precision, repeatability and reproducibility of the measures;
- the usefulness of diagnostic tests and prognostic indexes;
- measures of disease occurrence and association with risk/benefit factors in epidemiology/clinical research;
- the identification of sources of imprecision and inaccuracy in epidemiological / clinical studies;
- the difference between studies based on observation and experimentation together with the main study designs in epidemiology / clinical research for the assessment of causal relationships, with reflection on the ethical aspects of biomedical research
- the effectiveness of therapies, rehabilitation practices, prevention programs, reported by observational and experimental studies.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

MED/01 - MEDICAL STATISTICS - University credits: 6
Informal teaching: 16 hours
Lessons: 60 hours