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Epidemiology of Major Mental Disorders

Summer Inst. term
Mental Health
2 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Tue 05/30/2017 - Fri 06/16/2017
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor s:
William Eaton
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

330.617.01 Psychopathology for Public Health; or 330.601.81 The Perspectives of Psychiatry—the Public Health Framework. Those with a clinical background may be exempted from this requirement. And 340.601.01 Principles of Epidemiology; or 340.751.01 Epidemiologic Methods; or another prior or concurrent course in epidemiology, approved by the instructor. Undergraduates not admitted.


Presents an overview of the epidemiology of anxiety and mood disorders, schizophrenia and associated syndromes, affective psychosis including bipolar disorder, and dementia and related syndromes. Assumes basic knowledge of the clinical features of the syndromes, but will touch briefly on issues of assessment in the context of epidemiology. Includes the fundamentals of descriptive epidemiology for each syndrome (prevalence, incidence, natural history); consequences of the syndromes for impairment, disability, and general health; and an assessment of risk factors for the syndromes, including a discussion of the genetic epidemiology of the syndromes.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Define methodological and conceptual issues that are especially important for psychiatric epidemiology as distinct from other substantive areas of epidemiology
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the descriptive epidemiology of five major categories of mental disorders—anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dementia; identify gaps in literature; and be able to synthesize diverse research literature on these disorders.
  3. Discuss, analyze and present to others the most important genetic and environmental risk factors for the five major categories of major mental disorders
  4. Describe gaps in knowledge, and future needs and trends in the field of psychiatric epidemiology
Methods of Assessment:

Grades will be based on class participation (40%) and a “take home” final exam (60%). Half of the class participation grade will be based on participation in the three scheduled live talks (see below), and the other half on providing one short answer question and answering one short answer question from another student for each of the three live talks. The “take home” final exam will consist of completing three 1-2 page essays selected from 8 essay questions that will be due 1 week after the last day of the course.

Enrollment Restriction:

Students who have taken 330.603 are restricted from taking this class. No Undergrads.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Paper is due on June 17, 2016; final essay esam is due on June 24, 2016.