A Complete Note On Field Epidemiology-For BPH/MPH

    • Field epidemiology is practice or application of epidemiology to control and prevent health problems
      • Act when problem is acute and unexpected and when quick action is required
      • High levels of community concern
      • Involvement of the press
      • Political pressure

    Field epidemiology

    • Field epidemiology involves the application of epidemiologic methods to unexpected health problems when a rapid on-site investigation is necessary for timely intervention.
    • Field epidemiology describes in simple and practical terms the distinct approach, tasks, and actions needed for successful field investigations.
    • Guidance is given on such issues as how to perform surveillance, manage and execute field investigations, collect and analyze data, perform surveys, adapt a personal computer for field use, and communicate the findings.
    • Specific advice is also given on such subjects as dealing with the media; investigations in healthcare, day-care, and international settings; and the legal aspects of field studies.
    • Field epidemiology gives public health professionals and students a practical and complete reference to use in virtually any field investigation setting.

    Proposal Development

    • Project proposal is simply a basic document containing the explanation of all activities to be performed while undertaking an intervention development project or research work.
    • In other word, it is a written document prepared to do something in a pre-planned way with a view to successfully carries out the proposed assignment.
    • It explains about the problem to be studied its significance and the methodology to be followed.
    • The proposals also explain the techniques of analysis of the facts that are collected in the process of study.
    • Generally, a project proposal should satisfactorily answer the following questions.
    • It explain about the problem to be studied its significance and the methodology to be followed.
    • The proposal also explain the techniques of analysis of the facts that are collected in the process of study.
    • Generally, a project proposal should satisfactorily answer the following questions.

    Questions that we want answers

    • What we are proposing to do ?
    • Why we are proposing to do?
    • How and when we are planning to do?
    • How much and what type of resources are used or needed
    • How much is it going to cost
    • How much time is needed to conduct proposing study.

    Steps of Proposal Writing
    Universities and other institutions may have different requirements regarding the style and content of study proposal.

    • Formulating study problem
    • Abstract
    • Background
    • Statement of problem
    • Significance of the problem
    • Objectives
    • Literatures review
    • Hypothesis formulation
    • Methodology
    • Instruments
    • The work plan (Activities & Time)
    • Monitoring and Supervision
    • Personnel involved
    • Budget planning
    • Reporting

    Formulating study problem

    • Formulating a study problem is the first and most important steps in the study process. A study problem identifies researcher’s destination and decide what he want to find out.
    • The best way of understanding the problem is to discus it with one’s own colleagues or with those having some expertise in the matter.
    • In an academic institution the researcher can seek the help from a guide who is usually an experienced person and has several study problems in mind.


    • The abstract should be written in about 200 words, it contents brief synopsis of activities to be carried out in the study. It helps to understand the frame of study activities for the reader.


    • The background may provide general idea about formulating problem and linked between present situation and past experiences. Its orient the reader to what is already know about the topic of study and demonstration of the researchers command of current knowledge in that specific topic or field.

    Statement of the problem

    • There are some points are pointed, which are considered at the time of proposal writing.
    • Problems are stated in brief and concise
    • Justify that problem is worth studying
    • State the possible solution
    • Should be topic of interest to the reviewer
    • Suggest the significance of that particular study.

    Significance of the study

    • The significance of the study tries to state the importance how the proposed study would make contribution for development of knowledge, skill and attitude towards proposed title in both theoretical and empirical aspects.


    • The objectives clarifies and narrows the focus of the study. It identifies why the study being conducted. While writing objectives, it must be consistent to the topic of study.
    • Objective setting lets itself be the most challenging job while developing any proposal.
    • The usual practice of setting objective is either; general objective or specific objectives

    Objective should be SMART

    • S=Specific
    • M=Measurable
    • A=Achievable
    • R=Reasonable
    • T=Timeliness

    Literature Review

    • A literature review is a written summary of articles, books and other documents that describe the past and current state ok knowledge about topic.
    • Literature review helps to direct one’s thinking and moves one towards developing specific research question to be possible answered.
    • A review of the literature is typically the first place to start looking for research topics. This is particularly helpful when researchers (students) have a general topic area in mind but not a specific research question.
    • Remember, all research starts with a question. As a researcher or student is reviewing articles on a topic of interest, it is a good idea to have a notepad nearby with a page titled “Questions.” When questions come to mind during the reading, they can then be written on the notepad.
    • For example, a study may have been completed with a small number of participants, and questions arose of whether the same results would be obtained with a larger sample. Both modified replication studies and strict replication studies are valid research and can serve as excellent theses or dissertations.

    Formulating the Hypotheses

    • A hypotheses a formal statement that predicts a single research outcome. A hypotheses is the researcher’s educated guess predicting the results of the research findings.
    • Hypotheses is always developed in response to the purpose statement or to answer the research question.

    Qualities of workable hypothesis

    • The hypothesis state a relationship between at least two variables
    • The hypothesis not be vague or general. It should be specific and simple
    • The hypothesis should be properly experiment
    • A hypothesis has to be tested and verified
    • Hypothesis should be clear and based on theory which has already been evolved
    • The hypothesis should be stated in the present time
    • All hypotheses written for a study must be tested. There are two types of hypotheses;
    • Alternative hypothesis: setup hypothesis-Hypothesis is stated when the researcher has no reason to believe that a difference or relationship exit in any direction.
    • Null hypothesis: test hypothesis-If a hypothesis usually tested it is a established hypothesis and stated that there is no difference between the group being state.


    • Alternative hypothesis: There is a positive relationship between net using practice and malaria infection in Terai districts of Nepal. H1
    • Null hypothesis: There is no relationship between net using practice and malaria infection in Terai districts of Nepal. H0


    • Under the methodology, following sub-titles are listing below
    • Study design
    • Study area and population
    • Sampling and Sample selection
    • Study variables
    • Data collection
    • Data analysis

    Study design

    • The selection of a research strategy is the core of the research design
    • The research design is the overall plans of research strategy which guide to process of the research activities.
    • The research design is the master plan specifying the methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing the needed information
    • Qualitative study design to answer questions about the complex nature of phenomena with the propose of describing, explaining, and understanding the phenomena being studied.
    • Qualitative study include interpretative, constructivist, post-positive, and natural.
    • A health education example of a qualitative study might use participants in the same diet programs, where researcher want to knew why people want to lose body fat

    Study area and population

    • Study area: Place where study is going to conduct, describing about that particular area with respect to interest of topic
    • Study population: Target population, who are the subject of the study. Describe about study population situation and characteristics regarding on interest of topic

    Sampling and Sample selection

    • There are different process of sampling methods;
    • Probability sampling
    • Non-probability sampling

    Probability sampling

    • Simple random sampling
    • Systematic random sampling
    • Cluster sampling
    • Multi cluster sampling


    • Quota sampling

    Sampling and Sample selection

    • n=Z2apq /d2
    • n = desired sample
    • Za = Standard normal deviate usually set at 1.96 which corresponds to 95% confidence interval (value for a error)
    • P = proportion of students having a particular characteristic (as there is no reasonable estimate, then we should use 50%)
    • q = 1-p
    • D = degree of accuracy desired, usually set at 0.05%
    • n = (1.96) 2 x (0.5) (0.5)/ (0.05) 2
    • Here sample size requirement=384 approximately
    • To make for incomplete and inconsistent responses, the sample size was increased by 10% making it 400.

    Study variables

    • Dependent variables
    • Independent Variable

    Dependent Variables

    • Dependent variables are those variables that we have little or no direct control over, yet we have a strong interest in.
      • Examples Knowledge, Attitude and Practice on HIV/AIDS.

    Independent Variable

    • Independent variables are those variables which the researcher has control over and wishes to manipulate.
      • For example: level of Education, Media exposure, Income, Risk behaviour, Age, Occupation, etc.


    • Questionnaires
    • Checklist
    • Guidelines
    • Lab equipment’s
    • Medicines

    Data collection

    • Process contains four interdependent elements
    • Defining a research methods
    • Defining and constituting the sample
    • Choosing and preparing Data collection tools
    • Evaluating the tools-pre test

    Strategies for data collection

    • When conducting survey research there are essentially five different strategies for collecting data;
    • Mailed questionnaires
    • Personal interviews
    • Telephone surveys
    • Group administration
    • Electronic questionnaires


    • Considering the goal and objectives, research questions and resources, the important things is to investigate all the facets of the situation or problems in question
    • Decide on the type of information needed (precise data, perceptions, opinions)

    Data analysis

    • Entered into a database
    • Editing and coding
    • Computer software used; dBase IV, SPSS, Epi, Epinfo, STATA, Excel
    • Frequencies and cross- tabulations
    • Selection of analytical techniques
    • Detailed plan for higher-level statistical analysis, such as logistic regression will be prepared once the descriptive analysis is carried out (if relevant).
    • The focused group discussion notes will be compiled in a grid table format. This grid table will comprise of a set of codes and associated key themes to triangulate information within the groups.

    Quality Control
    Following points will be checked during pre-testing.

    • Acceptability
    • Clarity of the language used
    • The validity and the reliability of the way instruments will be used
    • Accuracy of translation
    • Availability of the sample need for full study
    • Work schedule
    • Desire to participation

    Activities/Work plan

    • The entire task of launching Baseline study in two districts and submission of the draft report will be completed in approximately two calendar months. The following table shows the time frame for the activities of the survey.
    • One day Meeting with support agency Management
    • 7 days Literature review and document study
    • 21 days Field survey
    • 15 days Compilation of the survey report
    • 5 days Submit first draft for feedback and suggestions
    • 5 days Incorporate feedback and suggestion if required
    • 3 days Submit final report
    • One day Dissimilation of the report
    • One day Post survey meeting
    • A briefing seminar to disseminate the Survey Report may be organized at or after conclusion of the survey inviting representatives from Government, Non-Government and International Agencies.


    • There will be a detailed analytical report in English. The report will be organized in three main chapters. The first chapter will describe background, objectives and methodology of the study. Second main chapters will present the results of the study (this section may be divided into three or four sub-sections). Finally (in Chapter 3), summary, conclusions and policy and programme recommendations will be presented.
    • After the finalization of the report, there would be post evaluation meeting at JICA where the Team Leader will present the outcomes of the survey .Electronic and hard copies of the report and electronic copy of the cleaned data set and raw data along with codebook and description on data editing will be submitted to ….(supporter/university guide)