Approved by Faculty Senate.


HHP 403: Epidemiology

Department of Health & Human Performance
Winona State University

This course satisfies the Mathematics/Statistics Flag requirement

of University Studies


Instructor Professor C. Mettille
Office 132 Memorial Hall, # 457-5456
Office Hours MTWR 10:00-12:00

Course applies to: Required course for all students majoring in School and Community Health Education - Nonteaching & Public Administration options; required for all students majoring in Exercise Science - Worksite Health Promotion, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation & Athletic Training Options. (3 SH) Prerequisites: Statistics 110; HHP 204,288; BIOL 211, 212.

Outcomes: This course includes requirements and learning activities that promote student’s abilities to: (identified below in the syllabus)

  1. practice the correct application of mathematical or statistical models that are appropriate to their prerequisite knowledge of these areas and,
  2. make proper use of modern mathematical or statistical methods appropriate to their level of prerequisite knowledge, to include, if statistics is used in a substantive way, the use of a statistical package with gradphics capability when appropriate.


Course Description: Distribution and patterns of disease including cardiovascular disease, cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, severe trauma or psychological conditions within populations; an examination of the nature of epidemiological research. Prerequisites: STAT 110. Offered each semester. Grade only.

Required Texts* Valanis, B. (1999). Epidemiology in Health Care (3rd Ed.).
Stamford, Connecticut: Appleton and Lange Publishers

Morton, R.F., Hebel, J.R., & McCarter, R.J. (2001). A study guide to epidemiology and biostatistics (5th ed.). Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers, Inc.

* The Statistical Package utilized in this course will be the student version of JMP found on all WSU 2001 leased laptops.


Rationale for the Course

Health and Human Performance professionals need to understand epidemiology as a process and product in order to apply primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies in their professional roles.


American Association of Health Education (AAHE) and the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Standards - Responsibilities for Entry Level Health Educators addressed in this course:

II. Planning effective health education programs

III. Implementing health education programs

IV. Evaluating effectiveness of health education programs

V. Coordinating provision of health education services

  1. Acting as a resource person in health education
  2. Communicating health and health education needs, concerns and resources


Athletic Training Competencies:

IC2 Common risk factors and causes of athletic injuries in various sports as identified by contemporary epidemiological studies and athletic injury/illness surveillance.

IIC5 Common injuries to each major body part as indicated by contemporary epidemiological studies of injuries in various competitive sports.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course each student will:

1. Gain a perspective on the historical foundations of epidemiology (1)

2. Develop and demonstrate knowledge of basic terminology used in the study of epidemiology (1,2)

3. Acquire knowledge of and discuss the descriptive, analytic, and experimental epidemiological study designs including statistical packages and graphics. (1,2)

4. Acquire knowledge of and use appropriate vital statistics, mathematical

models, statistical methods and graphics in epidemiological research (1,2)

5. Acquire knowledge of and use appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics (1,2)

6. Analyze and interpret epidemiologic studies detailed in professional journals (2)

7. Discuss and interpret the epidemiologic factors related to selected chronic and communicable diseases, and injuries addressing issues of probability, casualty and inference. (1,2)

8. Discuss and interpret the epidemiologic factors related to health promotion interventions (1,2)

9. Discuss the contributions made by epidemiology within the context of health promotion and exercise science fields

Course Requirements

1. Completion of two exams, which will include an objective and essay format. Exams will include information from the text, lectures, guest speakers, videos, and team research activities. There will be no time alterations for any exam except in a documented instance of extreme family or medical emergency. (1,2)





2. Literature Critiques: (2)

a. Students will critique two (2) articles in peer-reviewed journals that deal with some aspect of epidemiology. Examples of journals that can be used include American Journal of Public Health, New England Journal of Medicine, Medical Care, etc.

b. Must be done in APA style, two-three pages maximum, double-spaced.

c. Format of paper: Introduction, Purpose of Study, Statistical/mathematical methodology used, Results, Implications of Findings, Personal Perspective of Study.

3. Written Research Project / Presentation (1,2)

a. Students will choose an epidemiological issue/problem.

b. Do a literature review relative to research completed in this area. Select at least 3 studies related to your topic.

c. Based on statistical analysis and the relative epidemiological evidence, develop a potential strategy and solution to countering this health condition or problem. Address issues of probability, inference and casualty relative to this topic.

d. Must be done in APA style, double-spaced, minimum 5 pages to maximum of 8 pages. Format of paper: Introduction, Literature Review, Discussion of Epidemiological Studies, Personal Perspective on Studies, Summary.

e. Students will present a 10-15 min. PowerPoint presentations to the class.

4. In-class Assignments/Cooperative Learning – In a group dynamic, students will work on analyzing various epidemiological information / research. (1,2)

Attendance is an important part of a comprehensive course experience such as this one. For that reason, points will be provided for attendance. Five bonus points are awarded for perfect attendance, three points deducted for each absence. Attendance sheets only may be signed during the appropriate class session - remember: it is your responsibility to sign them each time you are present.



Exams (2x50) 100pts (1,2

Literature Critiques (2x25) 50pts (2)

Research paper 60pts (1)

Presentation 40pts (1,2)

Class Activities 50pts (1,2)


A = 90%-100% 300pts-270pts

B = 89%-80% 269pts-240pts

C = 79%-70% 239pts-210pts

D = 69%-60% 209pts-180pts

F = below 60% below 180pts

Course Outline:

Unit I: Introduction to Epidemiology

Historical developments

Terms and concepts

Models and Theories

Unit II: Epidemiology Methods

Descriptive epidemiology

Analytic epidemiology

Infectious and non-infectious diseases


SAS-JMP and other statistical packages

Literature analysis

Unit III: Applications of Epidemiology

Disease control and surveillance


Clinical decision-making

Health planning and evaluation