Epidemiology for Canadian Students, 2nd ed.
Principles, Methods and Critical Appraisal


Cover image (Epidemiology for Canadian Students, 2nd ed.)

The second edition of Epidemiology for Canadian Students introduces students to the principles and methods of epidemiology and critical appraisal, all grounded within a Canadian context. This context is crucial—epidemiologic research in Canada most often uses data from Canadian registries, Canadian special purpose cohorts, provincial health administrators, national statistical agencies and other sources that will be important to Canadian students during their careers.

Dr. Scott Patten draws on more than 20 years’ experience teaching epidemiology to present core concepts in a conversational tone and a pragmatic sequence. This second edition includes updated content and examples, double the number of study questions and answers, and new figures.

Topics include:

- Basic principles and why epidemiological reasoning matters for health professionals.
- Key parameters in descriptive and analytical epidemiology.
- Sources of error in epidemiology, and ways to quantify and control error.
- The concept of bias, which is introduced with basic parameter estimates to make it more accessible to students.
- Key study designs and their vulnerability to error.
- How to use critical appraisal and causal judgement to evaluate epidemiological studies.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Epidemiology for Canadian Students, 2nd ed. 1
PART I: First principles of epidemiology 5
1. What is epidemiology? 6
2. Epidemiological reasoning 15
PART II: Fundamental descriptiveparameters 26
3. Basic measures based on frequencies and rates 27
4. Specialized mortality rates and composite measures of disease burden 41
PART III: Vulnerability to error of descriptive studies 60
5. Random error from sampling 61
6. Measurement error that leads to misclassification 76
7. Misclassification bias in descriptive studies 89
8. Selection error and selection bias in descriptive studies 97
9. Confounding in descriptive studies 110
PART IV: Study designs and their vulnerability to error 126
10. Cross-sectional studies 127
11. Case-control studies 141
12. Differential and nondifferential misclassification bias in analytical studies 162
13. Prospective cohort studies 170
14. Confounding and effect modification in analytical studies 185
15. Stratified analysis and regression modelling in analytical studies 203
16. Other study designs 220
17. Other measures of association in epidemiology 234
PART V: Evaluating epidemiological studies 244
18. Causal judgement in epidemiology 245
19. Steps in critical appraisal 258
Answers to questions 277
Glossary 315
Reference List 331
Index 344