cod. 16546

Academic year 2023/24
3° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Igiene generale e applicata (MED/42)
Scienze umane, politiche della salute e management sanitario
Type of training activity
20 hours
of face-to-face activities
2 credits
hub: -
course unit


Learning objectives

The students will know, understand and apply the epidemiological methodology in the field of evaluation processes in health. In addition, they should be able to apply the acquired knowledge and understanding in epidemiologic methods in order to read and interpret scientific literature as well as in healthcare management in order to assess health systems’ features.
The student will acquire knowledge of the different types of health systems and of the main themes of the health organization. In particular, it will deepen the knowledge of the SSN in order to be able to understand the role of the different health professions.



Course unit content

The course introduces students to the concepts of disease spread and health and disease determinants within populations from a public health perspective. It focuses particularly on epidemiological methodology: measures of frequency and risk, the concept of causality, and types of studies.

Principles of Healthcare Organization and Legislation.
The course offers an overview of the international, national (specifically Italian), and regional healthcare organization. It also delves into hospital and community healthcare structures. Furthermore, it presents knowledge on healthcare programming (national and regional healthcare plans) within the framework of prevention.

Full programme

Elements of National and International Healthcare Organization and Legislation

A Brief History of the Italian Healthcare System. What are the origins and founding principles of the SSN? What is a healthcare system and what are the main types at the international level? What are the most relevant health regulations in Italy? What is the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, SSN) and how is it organized? What is an ASL (Local Health Unit)? What are the Essential Levels of Assistance (LEA)? The Components of the National Health Service. What are the main State bodies dealing with health? What are the tasks of the Ministry of Health? What are the tasks of the other State bodies dealing with health? How is healthcare organized at the level of Regions and Autonomous Provinces? What are the Health Companies? What is a Hospital? What are the characteristics of Hospital Companies? What is an Emergency Department and How is it organized? What are the management bodies of Health Companies? What are the functions and what are the professional requirements of the General Manager and the Health Director of a Healthcare facility? What are the Health Districts and how is territorial health care organized? What is the role of the General Practitioner? How is hospital-territory integration implemented and with what tools? What is the current territorial health organization? Health planning in Italy. What is health planning? What is the National Health Plan and what are its contents? What are the characteristics of Regional Health Plans? What is the National Prevention Plan and what are the main contents? How is health planning implemented at the local level? What is a Budget Document? What is the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)? What is a SDO (Hospital discharge sheet )? What are DRGs (Diagnostic Related Groups)? Why classify patients? What are "outcomes"? How are hospital performances measured? What does the "accreditation" of a healthcare facility mean? What is the National Health Fund and what is the evolution of healthcare expenditure in Italy? How are the need, demand, and supply in healthcare defined? What is clinical governance? What is Health Technology Assessment? International Health and Global Health. What is meant by globalization and health? What are the main government organizations dealing with health? What are the purposes and structure of the World Health Organization (WHO)?

Introduction to epidemiology as the study of the distribution and frequency of diseases and health-related events within a population.
The importance of the denominator (demography overview): population status and movement. Life expectancy, life expectancy at birth, aging index, infant mortality rate
Epidemiological data sources.
The main epidemiological frequency and risk measures: proportions and rates, prevalence, and incidence (cumulative and person-time), Odds Ratio, Relative Risk, and Attributable Risk.
Association, secondary, spurious, and causal associations, Bradford-Hill's causality criteria.
Classification of observational epidemiological studies: case reports, current statistics analysis, cross-sectional (the concept of screening and population screening), case-control, cohort studies. Overview of randomized clinical trials.
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses.


Auxilia, Pontello. Igiene, Medicina Preventiva e Salute globale, Piccin 2021.
Barbuti, Fara, Giammanco et al. Igiene Medicina Preventiva Sanità Pubblica. Edises Editore 2022.
Signorelli. Igiene e Sanità Pubblica. Società Editrice Universo 2021.
Learning material used during the lessons provided by the teacher
Signorelli, Odone «Elementi di metodologia epidemiologica» Società Editrice Universo, 2023.

Teaching methods

The course will be delivered through traditional lectures, supplemented by case studies and interactive sessions. These formats allow students to engage with real-world scenarios, emphasizing the practical application of epidemiology and public health tools in healthcare settings.

Slide presentations will be used to support lectures, and these materials will be accessible to students on the Elly platform (https://elly.medicina.unipr.it)

Assessment methods and criteria

The course is concluded by a single final exam, which is a written test. The final exam aims to assess students' abilities in connecting, learning, critically analyzing, and solving specific cases in public health, which they have acquired throughout the course.

Exam Details:
The final exam consists of 31 multiple-choice questions, which students are required to answer within a 45-minute time frame. The exam is designed to test the students' understanding of the principles of healthcare organization and legislation and their ability to apply this knowledge to real-life scenarios.

Students with SLD / BSE must first contact

Other information

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