Biostatistics Competencies What the MPH Graduate should be able to do

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Biostatistics Competencies What the MPH Graduate should be able to do

  1. 1. Biostatistics Competencies What the MPH Graduate should be able to do J. Jackson Barnette Biostatistics Workgroup Chair University of Alabama at Birmingham Presented at the ASPH Education Committee Meeting Chicago, IL May 9, 2005
  2. 2. Mark Twain on Statistics Speech in Hartford, Oct. 26, 1880 A man can’t prove anything without statistics; no man can…why statistics are more precious and useful than any other one thing in this world, except whisky. - I mean hymnbooks.
  3. 3. Biostats Workgroup Members Core Members Jack Barnette (UAB) Getachew Dagne (USF) Ed Davis (UNC) Marie Diener-West (JHU) Alan Melnick (NACCHO) Melvin Moeschberger (OSU) James Ranger-Moore (AZ) Janet Rice (Tulane) Marcia Testa (Harvard) Gene Therriault (Albany) Resource Members Greg Alexander (UAB) Stan Azen (So Cal) Melissa Begg (Columbia) James Hussey (USC) Chap Le (Minnesota) Susan Sturgeon (UMass) Lisa Sullivan (BU) John Wilson (Pittsburgh)
  4. 4. The Process • The chair, Dr. Jack Barnette (UAB), called for the submission of five to ten broad competencies from the core workgroup. • Eight workgroup members submitted 68 candidate competencies for consideration by December 24, 2004. • The chair then reviewed the list in January 2005 and developed 14 categories of types of competencies, as follows:
  5. 5. The Process 1. Basic understanding 2. Measurement 3. Data collection 4. Descriptive statistics 5. Inferential statistics 6. Methodological decision-making 7. Design 8. Data management 9. Use of data analysis software 10. Reviewer and conveyer of published research 11. Written and oral presentation 12. Relation to PH problems/issues/policies 13. Ethical practices 14. Working with other PH professionals
  6. 6. The Process • The chair next arranged the 68 candidate competencies into the 14 categories, reviewed the list, and determined the one or two competencies in each category that represented the major aspects of the competencies, which were submitted. • Another workgroup member reviewed the list for completeness and for possible duplication. • Consequently, the ASPH consultant suggested some changes and the chair agreed to a set of 30 "candidate competencies," which were submitted to ASPH for inclusion in the first round of the Delphi Process.
  7. 7. The Process • The core workgroup participated in three subsequent Delphi rounds, the second of which was joined by a resource group consisting of eight members. • The chair, subsequently determined the final list of 10 competencies with consensus approval from the core workgroup.
  8. 8. The Biostatistics Competencies for the MPH Graduate Upon graduation a student with an MPH should be able to…
  9. 9. Competency 1 Describe the roles biostatistics serves in the discipline of public health.
  10. 10. Competency 2 Distinguish among the different measurement scales (e.g., categorical, ordinal and interval) and the implications for selection of statistical methods to be used based on these distinctions.
  11. 11. Competency 3 Apply descriptive techniques commonly used to summarize public health data including data display (tables and figures) and measures of distribution shape, central tendency, variability, correlation, and risk assessment.
  12. 12. Competency 4 Understand key concepts of probability, random variation, and commonly used statistical probability distributions such as binomial, normal, t, chi-square, and F that shape the practice of biostatistics.
  13. 13. Competency 5 Apply common statistical methods for inference, including: estimation, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing.
  14. 14. Competency 6 Specify preferred methodological alternatives to commonly used statistical methods when assumptions are not met.
  15. 15. Competency 7 Apply descriptive and inferential methodologies (consisting of sample selection, research and hypothesis development, hypothesis testing decision errors, power, and sample size) according to the type of study design (e.g., case-control, cohort, randomized trial, observational, longitudinal, and cross-sectional) for answering a particular research question.
  16. 16. Competency 8 Interpret results of statistical analyses found in public health studies including assessing the assumptions, quality of data (objectivity, reliability, and validity), appropriateness of statistical methods, and validity and utility of conclusions.
  17. 17. Competency 9 Develop written and oral presentations based on statistical analyses, with explanation of descriptive and inferential statistics for both public health professionals and educated lay audiences.
  18. 18. Competency 10 Use vital statistics and other public health records in the description of population health characteristics and in public health research and evaluation.

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