This course provides an introduction to methods in spatial epidemiology and outbreak detection. The focus is on application rather than theory: this is not a course in spatial statistics.
The course is structured sequentially to move from spatial exploration of health data, to quantifying spatial patterns and clusters, to spatial exposure assessment and, finally, to methods for assessing risk.
Broadly, the spatial epidemiology part of the course focuses on:
assessing exposures through the use of a geographical information system (GIS)
conducting small area health studies (ecological models)
incorporating spatial parameters into models for individual health analyses.
The outbreak detection part of the course focuses on visualization of spatial data, disease surveillance and the use of spatial scan statistics in cluster detection.
Recognize when—and why—a spatial approach is required and the assumptions, strengths, limitations, and interpretations of different spatial methods used in health research.
Identify geospatial technologies and methods for epidemiology and cluster detection.
Choose an appropriate study design to address a specific spatial epidemiological question.
Visualize patterns of health and disease in place and time.
Analyze clusters and diffusion of disease to identify outbreaks.
Conduct small area and individual spatial epidemiology studies.
Critically interpret spatial epidemiology and outbreak detection methods.
Apply spatial epidemiology and outbreak detection methods to various population health research questions.
Admission to the Population Health Data Analysis Program and/or permission of the Faculty Advisor for stand alone course admission.
If space is available, you may take PHDA04 as a stand-alone course for professional development. Non-certificate students must meet the same prerequisites as certificate students.
Minimum registration requirement
This course may be cancelled if the minimum enrollment requirement is not met by the registration deadline.
Our students say...
"The GIS courses, PHDA 03 and PHDA 04, provided the greatest benefits. They were excellent and introduced brand new skills for me. Prior to taking these courses I had some brief exposure to GIS within my Master's program and through the free online PopData courses. The PHDA 03 and PHDA 04 course labs were very detailed and instructional, offering good balance between theory and practice. The courses generally had enough materials I could take away to continue working independently."
-Sophy Zhang, Program Administrative Coordinator, Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
Online learning is when course delivery, and all associated learning activities, take place via the internet. For online learning tips, system requirements and differences between delivery styles, please visit our online learning webpages.
Using mobile devices in online courses
If you are planning on accessing your online courses using a mobile device such as a tablet or a smartphone, please note that not all required course features will be accessible with these devices. To fully function in your online courses, you will need to have access to a computer running Windows or MacOS.
Before course start date or up to six calendar days after the official course start date: 100% refund less a $100 administrative fee.
After course start day (up to 13 calendar days): A 50% refund will be provided.
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Continuing Studies statement on use of educational technology
This course will require the use of Zoom and may use other education technology such as internet-based applications, cloud services, or social media. In order to complete this course you will be required to either consent to the disclosure of your personal information outside of Canada to enable use of these technologies, or work with the Division of Continuing Studies to explore other privacy protective options (such as using an alias or nickname).