Course descriptions

Pharmacoepidemiology and comparative effectiveness research

Monday-Tuesday, 11-12 June 2018, 8.30am-4pm

Professor Til Stürmer, PhD and Assistant professor Jennifer Lund, PhD

The aims of this course are to understand the unique research challenges and opportunities presented when conducting non-experimental studies of medical interventions and identify the specific tools required to design, analyze, and evaluate the validity of these studies.

This course will cover a variety of topics central to the conduct of PE and CER including (but not limited to): a review of commonly used healthcare databases for PE/CER, an overview of the major methodological challenges in evaluating the benefit and harm of medical interventions using non-experimental methods, an introduction to the study design and analytic solutions to address these challenges, and other special topics. Students will work in groups through a series of structured break-out sessions that will address the full spectrum of issues relevant to the conduct of a PE or CER study from research question development/feasibility assessment through the analytic approach and presentation of results.


Introductory courses in epidemiology and biostatistics


  • Lund JL, Richardson DB, Stürmer T. The active comparator, new user study design in pharmacoepidemiology: historical foundations and contemporary application. Current Epidemiology Reports. 2015;2:221-228.
  • Hong JL, Jonsson Funk M, Buse JB, Henderson LM, Lund JL, Pate V, Stürmer T. Comparative Effect of Initiating Metformin Versus Sulfonylureas on Breast Cancer Risk in Older Women. Epidemiology. 2017;28(3):446-454. 


Wednesday-Thursday, 13-14 June 2018, 8.30am-4pm

Professor Olaf Dekkers, MD, PhD

The course will give a broad overview of topics in meta-analysis. Most standard topics in meta-analysis will be covered, such as risk of bias analysis, fixed versus random effect models, heterogeneity, differences between meta-analysis of randomized trials and meta-analysis observational studies. Core elements will also be covered in hands-on practical sessions (risk of bias analysis, statistical analysis). After the course, the students should be able to perform a standard meta-analysis by themselves. The course will briefly cover some more advanced topics (network meta-analysis, combining different metrics).

Please note that you will need to install a STATA license on your laptop before class. A free short-term STATA license will be provided to participants.

No preparation is required for the class.

Case studies and practicals in pharmacoepidemiology

Friday, 15 June 2018, 8.30am-12 noon

Prof. Irene Petersen, MSc, PGCert, P. Grad Dip, PhD and Prof. Vera Ehrenstein, MPH, DSc

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