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PUBH6005 Epidemiology Assessment 2 Quiz Answer

Subject Code and NamePUBH6005 Epidemiology
Length1000 words (+/- 10%)
Learning OutcomesThis assessment addresses the following subject learning outcomes:
  • Differentiate between different types of research designs, including observation and experimental and mixed methods designs
  • Assess levels of evidence and make recommendations


This assignment covers learning topics from Module 2.1 and 2.2

PUBH6005: Epidemiology Assignment

This assessment is aimed at consolidating the students understanding of Module 2 content

By prescribing this assessment, students are able to reflect on their understanding of study design, sampling and population risk


This assignment has two parts. PART 1 involves reading three research articles, and applying what you have learned about epidemiological measures and study design to answer a series of short answer questions. PART 2 requires you to consider several health issues and decide the most appropriate study design for investigating that health issue.

Students are to log in to their Blackboard account and complete the assignment in the prescribed link on the Blackboard page.


The Whitehall study is a ground-breaking longitudinal (prospective cohort) study that clearly demonstrated the association between social determinants of health (the social gradient) and morbidity and mortality (cardiovascular disease) in a population of British civil servants (Breeze et al., 2001; Chandola et al., 2008; Marmot et al., 1978).

Read these papers and answer the following questions.

  1. What is the sampling frame for each phase of the Whitehall study (Whitehall I and II)? (5 marks)
  2. How was disease risk assessed (both in data collection and analysis) in each of the three studies and why? (15 marks)
  3. To what extent can the results of each of the three studies be generalised to other populations (include reasons for your answer)? (10 marks)
  4. Would it be feasible to conduct a similar study in Australia using an existing cohort such as the 45 and up study cohort or the Australian Women’s longitudinal study cohort? Why or why not? (20 marks)


For each of the following scenarios identify the best study design to explore each health issue and explain your reason for choosing this study design. Include an explanation of advantages and disadvantages of using the selected study design and include any ethical considerations. Support your reasons with justification and referenced examples of research studies.

  1. Causal relationship between lung cancer and smoking (10 marks)
  2. Association between depression and binge eating in a population of obese adolescents and adults (10 marks)
  3. Long term effects of detention on the mental and physical health of asylum seekers (10 marks)
  4. Relationship between folate supplementation during pregnancy and development of autism in offspring (10 marks)
  5. Testing of a drug for use in elderly people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (10


Submission Instructions:

Access assignment link on Blackboard under Assessment 2  Assignment via Assessment in main navigation menu in Blackboard. The assignment questions are embedded in Blackboard and you can submit your answers directly into Blackboard.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the appropriate use of epidemiological study designs
  • Analysis and application with synthesis of new knowledge to the strengths and weaknesses of different epidemiological study designs
  • Analysis and application with synthesis of new knowledge of study design characteristics to select the most appropriate to the study question
  • General assessment criteria:
    • Shows a sophisticated understanding of the key issues
    • Shows ability to interpret relevant information and literature in relation to chosen topic
    • Demonstrates a capacity to explain and apply relevant concepts
    • Shows evidence of reading beyond the required readings
    • Justifies any conclusions reached with well-formed arguments and not merely assertions
  • Correctly uses academic writing, presentation and grammar:
    • Complies with academic standards of legibility, referencing and bibliographical details (including reference list)
    • Writes clearly, with accurate spelling and grammar as well as proper sentence and paragraph construction
    • Uses appropriate APA style for citing and referencing research


Part 1

Question 1: What is the sampling frame for the Whitehall studies?

Answer: c. 19,029 males for Whitehall I or 10,308 females and males for Whitehall II

Question 2: How was disease risk assessed (data collection and analysis) for the Marmot paper?

Answer: c. Information was collected utilizing medical or behavior questionnaire as well as clinical examination (MARMOT, ROSE, SHIPLEY & HAMILTON, 2019). Relative threats were calculate to assess illness threats. 

Question 3: How was disease risk assessed (data collection and analysis) for the Breeze paper?

Answer: c. Data was collected using behavioral and medical questionnaires moreover clinical examination (McMichael, 2010). Sense regression was use to calculate an odds rations.

Question 4: How was disease risk assessed (data collection and analysis) for the Chandola paper?

Answer: Data were collected using medical and behavioral questionnaires, work stress questionnaires and clinical examinations (Ares, 2019). The Cox proportional hazard model was used to calculate the hazard ratio or logistic regression was use to calculate odds ratio.

Question 5: When we consider whether we can generalize the result of the results of these studies to other population, we need to consider:

  • Gender distribution of population
  • Ethnic diversity in the population
  • Financial similarity of population
  • The kind of work complete by people in population
  • Class structures of population

Question 6: Could we use an existing Australian research study cohort, such as the 45 and up study, to explore the same things as explored in the Whitehall studies? Why/why not?

Yes, Whitehall's research laid the foundation for exploring people over the age of 45 in Australia. The methods used in the Whitehall study may be useful for exploring people aged 45 and older in Australia as it attempts to determine the fertility of the Australian population through extensive exposure and public health importance to the ageing population. Students aged 45 and over give priority to the following areas:

  • Economic and social determinants of the healthy ageing, including work, social capital, rural and retirement, ethnicity, education and income
  • The impact of the physical activity, overweight and obesity on health
  • The impact of the environmental elements on healthy aging
  • Risk elements for cardiovascular and cancer and mental health problems such as depression, as well as detection and management.
  • The use of the health services associated to ageing, such as determinants of the decision to utilize residential aged care.
  • Health of people age 80 and over

Essentially, 45 or more studies conducted in Australia used a baseline questionnaire that obtained information from participants about their social and demographic characteristics, individual health behaviors, as well as common health-associated data (Breeze et al., 2019). This makes the Whitehall method very important for this group of researchers because it provides researchers with reliable, timely information. In addition, the goal of the study was to extract 250,000 women and men aged 45 or older from common population. These are the reasons why the Whitehall study is applicable to existing Australian research research cohorts (eg, 45 years and older) and other similar studies (Chandola et al., 2007).

Part 2

Question 1a: Select the most appropriate study design to explore the causal relationship between lung cancer and smoking. 

Answer: c. Case-control study

Question 1b: Why did you choose this study design? Explain advantages/disadvantages and ethical considerations

The goal of the researchers in such studies was to establish relation among the lung cancer or smoking. Appropriate research design should allow researchers to look for hospital subjects with lung cancer or a group of hospitalized patients with diseases other than cancer (Chandola et al., 2008). The next step is to compare previous exposures about smoking and many other factors. If the results of the study indicate that past smoking history is very common in patients with lung cancer, the researchers can conclude that there is a correlation between the two. The benefit of the case-control studies is that it enables researchers to collect the data they need relatively quickly and inexpensively. The disadvantage of this approach is that researchers are unable to measure the incidence of the lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers. Therefore, the absolute risk of smoking cannot be measured (Checkoway, Pearce & Kriebel, 2007).

Question 2a: Select the most appropriate study design to explore the association between depression and binge eating in a population of obese adolescents and adults. 

Answer: b. Cohort study

Question 2b: why did you choose this study design? Explain advantages/disadvantages and ethical consideration.

This approach is appropriate because the findings may prove that depression is associated with overeating in obese adults and adolescents (MARMOT, ROSE, SHIPLEY & HAMILTON, 2019). The disadvantage of this approach is that it takes a long time, thus increasing the cost of research. Ethical considerations are crucial because research involves people as subjects.

Question 3a: Select the most appropriate study design to explore the long-term effects of detention on the mental and physical health of asylum seekers

Answer: a. Cross-sectional study

This approach is appropriate because it allows researchers to compare the relevance of mental disorders to the health of the asylum seekers (McMichael, 2010). The advantage of cross-sectional studies is that it is useful when exploring relatively long-lasting conditions instead of transient and reversible effect of exposure.

Question 4a: Select the most appropriate study design to explore the relationship between folate supplementation during pregnancy and development of autism in offspring. 

Answer: a. Cross-sectional study

The study design is designed to study the prevalence of a particular disease or event, and it establishes a relationship or association between two variables. The advantage of this research design is that it is cheap and easy.

Question 5a: Select the most appropriate study design to test a drug for use in elderly people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Answer: d. Randomize controlled trial

This study design is appropriate because it allows researchers to randomly select the appropriate samples and divide them into two, one of which is a control. The drug will be assigned to one group and the remaining group will be used as a control (Ares, 2019). It is advantageous to use this study design because the researcher will be able to determine if the drug is ineffective for side effects and is effective.

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