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Outline for study reports

Title Page

  • Title, purpose of submission, Resident's name with session, Supervisor's name, Institute (FETP-MOH)

Second Page



  • Write this only after you have written everything else. It should be 150- 200 words and should include the following information:
    • 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.

INTRODUCTION  (2-3 pages)

  • 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

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


  • 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
  • Definitions
    • Case definition / Definition of Outcome
    • Definition of exposure(s)
  • Sampling
    • 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
    • Other studies (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)."
  • Contents
    • Describe the study subjects:
      • Response rates
      • Person, Place and Time factors
    • Describe the cases (If applicable)
      • Number of persons meeting case definition
      • Clinical features
      • Time, place, person
      • Pertinent laboratory or environmental study findings
    • Describe the controls (if applicable)
      • Person, place and time
    • Bivariate Analysis:
      • 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
    • Multivariate analysis: (If applicable)
      • 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


  • What do the findings 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


  • What should be done next?
    • Prevention and control measures undertaken
    • Further or future studies recommended
  • 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

    • 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