Clinimetrics: from Biomarkers to Quality of Life
Full course description
This 8-week module deals with the various aspects of health measurement. Health is always the main (dependent) variable in epidemiologic research. By means of tutorial group discussions, lectures, and exercises the students will be made familiar with the various aspects of health (and exposure) measurement: the concept of health and the various dimensions of the health concept; the use of health and vital indicators in public health planning and evaluation; the organization of health-related information and the structure and practical use of a major disease classification system (ICF); various forms of national and international health registries; the structure and contents of (inter)national public health surveillance systems; the various types of health measurement scales that have been developed for health status measurement and health outcome evaluation; the main principles of measurement theory, in particular the theoretical underpinnings of health and exposure measurement (clinimetrics); the main criteria of the methodological quality of a health measurement scale including reliability, validity, responsiveness and interpretability; the steps in the development, field testing and evaluation of a health outcome measurement scale; and the main principles of diagnostic testing and population screening for disease.The module covers the range from biomarkers until quality of life.
Within this module students will start working on their thesis. After having chosen their thesis topic in October, students will have covered the basic knowledge they need, in terms of study designs, measurement instruments and statistics, to be able to specify the outline of their research proposal and prepare a well formulated research question (“outline and research question”). The moment in time for this activity within the whole master program is carefully chosen.
- Ability to distinguish between the various dimensions of health and vital indicators in public health planning and evaluation;
- Knowledge of and insight into the principles of classifying health and disease phenomena, and the use of health classification systems;
- Knowledge of and insight into the principles and methods of public health surveillance;
- Ability to distinguish between the various types of health measurement scales;
- Knowledge of and insight into the role of biological markers within the context of health measurement and health monitoring;
- Knowledge of and insight into the theory of health and exposure measurement (clinimetrics), and the relevant aspects of the quality of a health measurement scale (e.g., validity, reliability, sensitivity-to-change);
- Ability to distinguish between the subsequent steps in the development and evaluation of a health outcome measurement scale;
- Knowledge, insight and skills required for the critical evaluation of a health measurement scale;
- Knowledge of and insight into the main principles and procedures of diagnostic test (strategy) development and evaluation;
- Knowledge of and insight into the main principles and procedures of population screening of health problems and risk factors, and the evaluation of screening activities;
- Knowledge of other indicators of health measurement which are often used by policy makers, such as the quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and the cost-of-illness;
- Knowledge of the concepts and measurement of outcomes beyond (health-related) quality of life, such as well-being, life satisfaction, and capabilities;
- Knowledge and insight of systematic reviews for health measures;
- Knowledge and insight of the full range of health measures (from biomarkers until quality of life measures);
- Knowledge and insight on how to formulate a research question;
- Basic knowledge of and insight into the outline of a(n epidemiological) research proposal.
Basic literature: - De Vet HCW, Terwee CB, Mokkink LB, Knol DL. Measurement in medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Suggestions for further reading: - Streiner DL, Norman GR, Cairney J. Health measurement scales; a practical guide to their development and use; 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. (Also available as eBook). - Gordis L. Epidemiology; 5th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders, 2014. - Field A. Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics; 4th ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd, 2013. - Fletcher RH, Fletcher SW, Fletcher GS. Clinical epidemiology; The essentials; 5th ed. Chapters 2 and 3. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer | Lippincott Williams Wilkins, 2014. - Terwee CB, Bot SDM, De Boer MR et al. Quality criteria were proposed for measurement properties of health status questionnaires. J Clin Epidemiol 2007; 60: 34-42.