Reading Epidemiologic Literature: Unit 1

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Date Developed: 1/1/2004. Source: Center for Public Health Preparedness (University of North Carolina). Presenter(s): Amy Sayle, PhD, MPH. Type: Online Course. Level: Intermediate. Length: 15 minutes.


This module provides a basis for reading epidemiologic research studies, more specifically with studies concerning the relationship between exposures and health-related outcomes. Dr. Sayle provides a definition of epidemiology, and tips to searching the literature, and continues by detailing components of a typical journal article. Strategies for effectively and sufficiently reading an epidemiologic study are included, as well as tips for analyzing study design, population, possible sources of error, confounders, and how variables are defined and measured.

Learning Objectives

• Be able to define epidemiology.

• Understand the structure of a typical epidemiology journal article.

• Learn strategies for reading an epidemiology article.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.