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Research Methodology & Statistics

Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS)

Course Information

Course Level: Masters
Course Role: Instructor of Record
Delivery Method: Online, asynchronous
Primary Program: Masters of Dental Hygiene
Semesters Taught: Summer 2024

Course Description

Students will learn fundamental biostatistical and study design concepts routinely used in epidemiologic and clinical research, with a special emphasis on oral health research. Concepts will be reinforced through critical evaluation of peer-reviewed oral health research. Furthermore, basic data management, data analysis, interpretation and write up of results will be discussed. Training on using SPSS statistical software tools will be provided.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the role of biostatistics in the discipline of public health,
  • Critique the scientific literature specifically the statistical component of oral health and public health research,
  • Formulate a research hypothesis,
  • Identify and explain various study designs and their appropriate utilization,
  • Develop skills in data analysis using SPSS statistical software package,
  • Organize, tabulate and summarize data using descriptive statistical techniques in SPSS,
  • Contrast different scales of measurement and the appropriate statistical methods for each,
  • Interpret graphical displays of quantitative information,
  • Identify the appropriate statistical test for a given study design and type of data,
  • Correctly reject or accept the null and alternative hypotheses using results (p-value or confidence interval) from statistical tests,
  • Effectively interpret and communicate statistical results through written and oral communications.

Course Materials