The study of epidemiology is about learning to ask, and answer, good questions in population health. The first section of the book lays the groundwork for understanding how study designs work, what they estimate, and how they can fail. These chapters give an overview of prevalence and incidence, measures of contrast such as risk differences and risk ratios, principles of causal inference and causal effect estimation, diagnostic testing, screening, and surveillance. The second section of the book builds on the core concepts of measuring disease and assessing causality to describe the study designs that are the core tools of epidemiology. This section focuses on randomized trials, observational cohort studies, and case-control studies; the author briefly addresses additional study designs including quasi-experiments. The final section discusses the causal impact approach to epidemiologic methods for moving from internally valid estimates to externally valid estimates to valid estimates of the effects of population interventions
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