330.603.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 2nd Term | 3 Credit(s)
MW 1:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    William Eaton
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Define methodological and conceptual issues that are especially important for psychiatric epidemiology as distinct from other substantive areas of epidemiology
    • Discuss the descriptive epidemiology of the major mental disorders: prevalence, incidence, and natural history
    • Discuss the most important social, biologic and environmental risk factors for the major mental disorders
    • Describe the gaps in knowledge, as well as future needs and trends, in the field of psychiatric epidemiology
  • Course Description

    Presents the epidemiology of childhood mental disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, somatoform disorderrs, and other disturbances of brain function and mental life. Examines operational case definitions, measurement techniques, and sampling strategies to enhance field surveys and risk factor research. Intended for clinical or public health practitioners and administrators acquainted with these illnesses, and specialists in other fields.

  • Intended Audience
    PhD and MHS
  • Methods of Assessment

    Class participation, midterm exam, brief paper recommending new publication for inclusion in future syllabus, and final exam. Departmental doctoral students must also enroll for one credit of Special Studies.


    Grading Policy

    Grades will be based on class participation (15%), a mid-term in-class examination (20%), a final take-home examination (45%), and a brief paper reviewing an article for possible inclusion in the course next year (20%). Active participation by all students in all classes is sought. 


    Class Participation

    Active participation by all students in all classes is sought.  Starting on the second week of class, three students will be assigned specifically to post a question on the course bulletin board for each class session on the night before the relevant lecture, which can serve as a source of discussion for the class, as well as a measure of class participation for the students. Each student should read the posted questions and be prepared to discuss them. 


    Midterm Examination

    The mid-term examination will be a closed-book exam in multiple choice and short essay format.  It will be held in class on Monday, November 25. To help students anticipate the form of the multiple choice questions, sample questions will be posted on Courseplus at the conclusion of each lecture. Answers to the questions will be provided prior to the following lecture.


    Final Examination

    The final exam will be an open book exam in short essay format.  It will be handed out at the end of class on Monday, December 9, and will be due on Friday, December 20, at 11:59 PM.  


    Article review

    Each student should choose a scientific article which he or she proposes to be included in next year’s syllabus as a recommended reading.  The student should briefly review the article, describe its importance for the field of psychiatric epidemiology, identify any weaknesses in the work, and show how it fits into the structure of the course.  There should be a brief review of an article now included in the recommended reading which the proposed article should replace, with a justification as to why the proposed article is better suited to the course.  This review could be done in as little as two to three pages of doublespace text, but it must be less than seven pages.  This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Monday, December 9.




    Required extra credit for doctoral students in the Department of Mental Health


    Doctoral students in Department of Mental Health are required to take another one credit of special study. For this one-credit special study, students’ class performance will be graded on the basis of a 10-20 double-spaced page paper due on January 10, 2014.  The paper will consist of a brief analysis of data in the area of psychiatric epidemiology, from public use data, and on a topic of the student’s choosing.  There are several datasets available on the folder entitled “Public Use Data” on the server of the Department of Mental Health.  During the second quarter there will be occasional presentations in the Department of Mental Health on available datasets that may be of interest to students, at times to be announced.


  • Prerequisites

    Requirements include a prior course about the nature of psychopathology, and a prior or concurrent course in epidemiology.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    330.617.01—The Public Health Approach to Psychopathology; or

    330.601.81--The Perspectives of Psychiatry—the Public Health Framework. 

    Those with a clinical background in psychiatry, psychology, or social work are exempted from this requirement.


    340.601.01 Principles of Epidemiology; or

    340.751.01 Epidemiologic Methods; or

    another prior or concurrent course in epidemiology, approved by the instructor

  • Highly recommended Text

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Tsuang M.T. & Tohen M.  Textbook in Psychiatric Epidemiology.  3rd ed. New York , Wiley-Liss, 2011.





  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Course topics

    Introduction, the burden of mental disorders, and a history of psychiatric epidemiology

    Methods and Concepts for Psychiatric Epidemiology

    Epidemiology of Anxiety Disorders, Acute Stress and Trauma

    Epidemiology of Mood Disorders


    Epidemiology of Psychiatric Disorders in Children 

    Eating disorders

    Epidemiology of Psychosis

    Somatoform Epidemics

    Epidemiology of Mental Health

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at