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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ann Vander Stoep
EPI 546
Seattle Campus

Psychiatric Epidemiology

Applies epidemiological methods to the study of mental illnesses. Topics include occurrence and distribution of mental illness, classification of psychiatric disorders; treatment-based vs. community-based studies; epidemiology of depression and schizophrenia; familial transmission; developmental epidemiology; mental illness and violence. Prerequisite: either EPI 511, EPI 512, HSERV 591, or permission of instructor. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: jointly with PBSCI 546; Sp.

Class description

Psychiatric Epidemiology (Epi 546/PBSCI 546) is a 3-credit course designed to familiarize graduate and post-graduate students in public health, social sciences, psychiatry, nursing, and other related disciplines with the application of epidemiological methods to the study of mental health conditions.

Student learning goals

Students will become familiar with methods and findings of major epidemological studies of mental illness conducted during the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. They will learn the incidence, prevalence, and age, gender and social class distribution of selected mental illnesses in adults and children and evaluate diagnostic and dimensional instruments that measure an individual mental health status. Students will be introduced to genetic and environmental risk factors in the etiology of mental illnesses, including low social class status, family history of mental illness, gender socialization, exposure to abuse, cultural influences. Students will learn about the U.S. mental health care system and the evidence-base supporting mental health treatment.

General method of instruction

Class meets for 3 hours per week. Each week students read articles and book chapters that address topics in psychiatric epidemiology. Topics focus on methodology, etiology, intervention, and policy. Class time is devoted to discussions of assigned articles led by students or instructor and lectures given by the instructor or guest instructors.

Recommended preparation

Prior to enrolling in this course students should have completed Epidemiology 511, 512, or HSERV 591 A & B or equivalent.

Class assignments and grading

Course grading is credit/no credit. To receive credit, students are required to 1) read assigned articles and chapters; 2) lead and participate in class discussion; 3) write an article critique and a term paper, 4) make a brief presentation to the class on the term paper topic.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Angelica M. Buck
Date: 06/30/2008