Diploma in Field Epidemiology Training Program (DFE)

Outline of Long Project, Outbreak Investigation and other short studies
Second Page
Signatures of the Investigators and Supervisors
Write this only after you have written everything else. It should be 150- 200 words and should include the following
What was the problem (Introduction)
What was done to address the problem (Methods)
What was found (Results)
What conclusions were drawn (Discussion)
What recommendations were made (Discussion)
What public health action was taken (Discussion)
It should contain enough information to stand on its own; this may be the only part of your report that some people will want
to read, and they will decide whether to spend time on the whole thing based on the abstract.

General description of the disease/health problem under study
Brief description of the diseases: Person, Place and Time. Risk Factors
Important facts about the disease or condition that specifically support your reasons for doing the investigation
Objectives of the investigation
Introduction (2-3 pages)
Literature Review (Only for the long project)
Search for the literature, as given in guidelines for literature review, and write it comprehensively to give the reader a
concept of what information is available on the topic under study and what information was missing which necessitation
conduction of the study under review. Although the exact outline will depend on the study topic, this may generally include
Definition of disease
History of Disease/problem under discussion
If Infectious disease: Agent factors, Host Factors, Environmental Factors, incubation period, clinical features, complications, treatment
If non-communicable disease: Disease presentation, high risk groups, Causative and Risk factors
Geographical distribution: International, Regional, National, Local
Measures for disease prevention and control, including health education
Highlight the relationship with the specific exposure factors under study
Number of references should be 25-40, majority of whom should be within last 5 years and at least few should be from the same year
Materials and Methods
Background of Investigation (Only for outbreak Investigation)
What was the problem?
Nature of the problem: What had happened before you were called in?
What had been done so far and what was known to date .
Key people who requested the investigation
What was expected that you do or accomplish
Why did you decide to conduct an investigation? (The correct answer is not “Because my supervisor told me to.”)
Study Design
How did you study the problem?
Study design and rationale: What kind of study did you use and why was this design chosen?
Study Area/Population
Description of the area where you conducted the study: How big is the city? Where in the country is it? Is there something unusual about it that could cause or enhance the spread of disease (for example, pilgrims going through Jeddah on their way to Makkah)? How many hospitals, PHCCs, etc. are there? If relevant to your investigation, include the number of schools, or whether members of a particular ethnic group have settled in a specific area.
Population covered by the investigation: Definition. Any special sociodemographic features
Case definition / Definition of Outcome
Definition of exposures(s)
Sampling technique
Sample size estimation and assumptions
Data Collection
Case-finding methods
Data-gathering methods:
Did you design a questionnaire? (Put a copy of it in the Appendix.)
What information was collected (List all groups of outcome, exposure and confounding variables studied).
How did you get the permission to proceed? And from whom?
Study subject / patient consent?
Did you telephone patients or families?
Did you interview them face-to-face?
Did you review medical records? If so, where (ward, laboratory, central registry, etc.)?
Sampling procedures? Who participated in data collection
Time spent in data collection
Methods and criteria used to select controls, if applicable
Otherstudies (environmental, etc)
Statistical methods
Laboratory methods
What did you find?
Describe the results in light of objectives of the study in a narrative format, in the order given below.
Tables and graphs are there to support the text, and not the only basis of results section. So do not just describe the tables and graphs one by one, making the result section jumpy; rather make it flow as giving a comprehensive picture of what you find.
This section is text only, no table or graphs. Use the number of table/figure to refer to the table etc. e.g. "Men were more likely than women to develop heart disease (Table 1)."
Describe the study subjects
Response rates
Person, Place and Time factors
Compare ‘cases and controls’ or ‘exposed and unexposed’ (depending upon study type) for the exposure and confounding factors under study, while using appropriate tests of statistical significance or measures of strength of association with confidence intervals
In text do not describe the tables in full, rather restrict to important findings an conclusions: positive or negative, whether statistically significant or not
To control for the effect of confounding factors on relationship between exposure and outcome variables
To study the relative effect of multiple exposure variables
Pending results, including laboratory
Multivariate analysis: (If applicable)
What do the findingd mean
Interpretation of study results: How does what you found compare with what has already been written about the disease? How is it the same? How does it differ? Which criteria of causality have been met? Does the interpretation fit the descriptive epidemiology?
Theoretical implications of what you found .
Practical application, if any, of what you found
Limitations of study design and possible bias
What can you determine based on what you did and what you found?
Only 2-5 sentences
Recommendations and Actions
What should be done next?
What can you determine based on what you did and what you found?
Only 2-5 sentences
Base your recommendation only on the findings of your study, not on the basis of general information available about the disease under discussion.
A small list of pertinent references related to the disease under investigation.
Follow the pattern given in ‘Uniform requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals’ for citation of references.
Acknowledge all the staff in health and other departments who supported in conducting the study, including laboratory personnel.
Acknowledge the community members who helped in the study.
Also acknowledge the participants of the study.
Tables, Charts and Graphs Appendices
Each table, chart and graph should be on a separate page at the end of the report.
Number each table, chart or graph consecutively (Table 1, Table 2, Chart 1, Chart 2, Chart 3, Graph 1, Graph 2)
Tables and graphs should have a clear title indicating its contents, usually contain the place and year of conduction of study
In all sections, please use both the Hijra date and the Gregorian date. As with the date at the beginning of the report, Put the Hijira first and the Gregorian immediately following (in parentheses): 1 Rabbi AlAwal 1426 (April 10, 2005).
For choice of font and format follow the FETP sample for report submission available with FETP course coordinator.
Title Page
Title, purpose of submission, Resident's name with session, Supervisor's name, Institute (FETP-MOH)
Describe the cases (If applicable)
Describe the controls (if applicable)
Bivariate Analysis
Time, place, persons
Number of persons meeting case definition
Clinical features
Time, place, persons
Pertinent laboratory or environmental study findings
Field Epidemiology Training Program
Assistant Agency for Preventive Health, Agency for Public Health
Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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