Topics and Techniques in International Population Health Workshop

Course Date: June 28-July 2

Topics and Techniques in International Population Health Workshop

International and comparative population research is a key cornerstone of population science and demography. International and comparative research is essential: 1. to learn the variations in population dynamics across different populations; 2. to predict the future of global population trends; and 3. to test hypotheses across widely varying context and determine the limits on forces producing population change. This five-day intensive workshop on international and comparative population research begins with a one-day review of the field and deep-dive into data creation for this science. Although students are encouraged to attend all 5 days of the workshop, students may attend any combination of the 5 days to meet their training needs. Each day of the workshop is structured as an independent, 1-day, short course. Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) will be used as a featured example and compared to other international population studies as appropriate for the topics. The workshop will meet daily June 28 – July 2 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m, Eastern Standard Time.

Topics and Techniques in International Population Health: An Introduction and Overview

This is the first day of a 5-day workshop on international research using the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) as a featured case study. This overview course is designed to provide students with a general introduction to the field of international population research in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The first segment will summarize key issues in the history of international and comparative population research. The overview will treat topics of both conceptualization and measurement. On the conceptualization side, the course will explain the fundamental issues around “Reading History Sideways” using Thornton’s seminal work on this topic as the basis for our presentation. On measurement, we will begin by a focus on the science of measurement across cultures and languages. The course will integrate human subject protections, state-of-the-art survey methodology, and connections across substantive foci in international population research. For more information on the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS), visit: https://cvfs.isr.umich.edu/.

Instructor: William Axinn

Topics and Techniques in International Population Health: Studies of Community Context

This is the second day of a 5-day workshop on international research using the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) as a featured case study. This short course reviews principles of contextual influence and conceptualization and measurement of dynamic characteristics of communities in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The course focuses on conceptualization and measurement of context including spatial distribution of community infrastructure, temporal dynamics (retrospective and prospective measure), and linking community level measures with household-, parent-, and individual- level measures.

This course will begin with an overview of mixed method data collection approaches for measuring local community context. These methodologies involve innovative tools designed to capture both spatial and temporal variation and change over time, such as the Neighborhood History Calendar technique, Remote Sensing, Geographical Information Systems, and Tablet/Computer based Interactive Maps. This course will also cover special problems of protecting human subjects in community context research, specifically during armed conflict. This interactive course uses a combination of synchronous and asynchronous lectures, in-class individual exercises and group exercises. By the end of this course, participants will have an overview of measurement of context that will enable them to design, understand, and evaluate contextual models. For more information on the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS), visit: https://cvfs.isr.umich.edu/.

Instructor: Dirgha Ghimire

Topics and Techniques in International Population Health: Child Health & Well-Being

This is the third day of a 5-day workshop on international research using the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) as a featured case study. This course will also use the Demographic and Health Surveys as a case example, and highlight other datasets that can be used in this type of research. This short course introduces students to the study of contextual influences on child health and well-being in international contexts, specifically lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). After introducing essential concepts related to the study of family and community influences on children, the course will turn to an overview of international datasets for the study of child health and well-being, and review practical and analytical considerations in working with these data. We will provide an introduction to multilevel modeling and approaches to analyzing nested and clustered data. The course concludes with discussion of human subjects protections and ethical considerations with the collection of data from children. The course will be interactive with discussion and lab exercises throughout. For more information on the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS), visit: https://cvfs.isr.umich.edu/.

Instructor: Emily Treleaven

Topics and Techniques in International Population Health: Global Population Studies of Mental Health

This is the fourth day of a 5-day workshop on international research using the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) as a featured case study. This short course introduces students to the intersection of community context and common mental disorders – such as depression, anxiety and substance use disorders – that are the leading causes of disease burden in the world today. After introducing the epidemiology of and public health significance of global mental health, the course will expose students to primary measurement concerns related to global mental health studies exploring community context, introducing topics around nosology, consent (especially among impaired populations), cross-cultural understandings of distress and disorder, instrumentation, genetics, and research question development. The course will then introduce students to available datasets, with a case study using the Chitwan Valley Family Study World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview – Nepal (WMH-CIDI Nepal). Through a mixture of independent readings and review of multimedia materials, including short recorded lectures, and synchronous participatory activities and guided data analytic activities, this course will challenge students to think critically about the existing literature and available data in this area, and about the role of culture, context and stigma in shaping global population studies on mental health.  For more information on the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS), visit: https://cvfs.isr.umich.edu/.

Instructors: Sabrina Hermosilla

Topics and Techniques in International Population Health: Sociogenomic Research

This is the fifth day of a 5-day workshop on international research using the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) as a featured case study, but will draw on several data resources (e.g. Health and Retirement Study family of studies). This short course briefly introduces students to the major issues surrounding using genomic data to study health and behavior in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The first major topic includes introductions into common methods of DNA sample collection strategies, including the costs and benefits of each, and common pitfalls in the collection and assaying of DNA. Discussions of major ethical and conceptual issues to consider in designing a genomic study will be covered. Following this is a discussion of common analytic strategies used in health and sociogenomic research, including, genome wide association studies, polygenic scores, family models, and gene-environment interactions. The course concludes with potential week-long, semester, and year-long courses to follow-up in more detail. This course is both a guide to next steps for genomic work in international settings and also to the genomic data of CVFS. For more information on the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS), visit: https://cvfs.isr.umich.edu/.

Instructor: Colter Mitchell

WORKSHOP