Research in Tropical Health


After this unit, students should be able to:
1. Know and understand the stages of a research project.
2. Describe the objectives of the various types of studies and detail their features, advantages and disadvantages. Suit the type of study to the research question. Use descriptive epidemiology principles (time, place and person). Define epidemic/outbreak and create a case definition. Calculate and interpret location and dispersion measurements, tables and graphics. Know how to apply statistical hypothesis tests and calculate links / differences between variables.
3. Describe the various types of sampling and calculate the sample size based on the estimated population proportion.
4. Discuss different types of sources and data collection tools, detailing what mistakes to avoid in preparing questionnaires.
5. Describe research characteristics using detailed individual and group interviews.
6. Be familiar with Biomedicine ethics principles.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Rosa Teodósio


Weekly - 12

Total - 84

Teaching language

English and Portuguese


Not applicable


• Fortin, M. F. (2009). O processo de investigação da concepção à realização. (5ª ed). Camarate: LUSOCIÊNCIA – Edições Técnicas e Científicas, Lda. (obra originalmente publicada em 1996).
• Gordis, L. (2011). Epidemiologia. (4ª ed). Loures: LUSODIDACTA – Sociedade Portuguesa de Material Didáctico, Lda. (obra originalmente publicada em 2009).
• Hill, M. M., Hill, A. (2005) Investigação por questionário. (2ª ed). Lisboa: Edições Sílabo, Lda.
• Knapp, R.G., Miller, M. C. (1992). Clinical Epidemiology and biostatistics. Ed. Williams and Williams, Baltimore, Maryland.
• Murteira, B. J. F. (1993). Análise exploratória de dados e estatística descritiva. Ed Mc Graw-Hill, Portugal.

Teaching method

- Lectures in the classroom;
- Theoretical-practical classes with performing exercises;
- Tutorials for follow-up work and clarify doubts.

Evaluation method

- Individual and group work (30% of the final grade);
- Individual final test/exam (70% of the final grade).

Subject matter

I. Information Sources and Research strategies. Ethical principles in biomedical research.
II. Research project phases.
III. Observational (descriptive, case-control and cohort), experimental and quasi-experimental studies. Features, advantages and disadvantages, adaptation to the research question. Bias, confounding and interaction concepts.
IV. Sampling: sample size; inclusion and exclusion criteria; random and non-random sampling. Sampling error concept.
V. Selection, classification and operationalization of variables. Measures of location and dispersion. Tables of frequencies and graphics.
VI. Statistical hypothesis testing: null and alternative hypothesis; significance level. Chi-square test, population comparison from independent samples and paired samples, ONEWAY ANOVA, correlation and regression; non-parametric tests.
VII. The interview and self-administered questionnaire. In-depth interview and group interview. Content analysis.


Programs where the course is taught: