Epidemiology and Methods in Clinical Research


Epidemiology and the basic concepts on methodology of clinical research are essential components of knowledge and crucial for those developing activities in the management of clinical research. With this Curricular Unit we intend to lay the foundation for students to understand the epidemiological and research methods that support research and experimental projects, increase their knowledge and their critical ability regarding published research results, make them autonomous in placing scientific issues, recognize the limitations of the evidence on which are based many procedures, enhance the taste for curiosity, study and knowledge.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Professora Doutora Helena Cristina de Matos Canhão


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





·         Kenneth Rothman, Epidemiology: An Introduction. 2ªEdição. Oxford University Press, 2012.

·         Robert Fletcher, Clinical Epidemiology. 5ªEdição. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012.

·         Programa estatístico STATA.

Teaching method

Total number of CU hours - 128 hours: 42 hours of lessons and 86 hours of research, private study and development / monitoring of a project.

The 42 contact hours are distributed in lectures (14 hours) and lab sessions (28 hours).

Evaluation method

·        Continuous assessment based on attendance and participation in class L and LS (20%);

·         Final exam (50%);

·         Report and oral presentation where the student demonstrates that he understood the objectives of the project and the methods used and was familiar with the research process (30%).

Subject matter


Presentation and objectives of CU; What is epidemiology and clinical epidemiology; Dependent variables and independent variables; Outcomes measures and Measures of Association; Tests and statistical models; Confounders, Bias, modifier Effect, Interaction, Colinearity; Design, implementation and conduct of research studies; Observational studies; Intervention Studies; Instruments and scales; systematic review of the literature; Meta-analyzes; Sample size and power of the study; Ethics in human research.


Lab sessions:

STATA exercises; Evaluation and discussion of scientific articles; How to do a presentation; scientific projects evaluation; seminars on nutrition and clinical epidemiology applied to some specific diseases and conditions. In addition to the 42h of lessons, students should develop or join / follow an observational or experimental project in the area of epidemiology / clinical research.


Programs where the course is taught: