Advanced Methods Workshop



The SPER Advanced Methods Workshop immediately precedes the SPER annual meeting. The workshop provides researchers and students with an introduction to advanced epidemiologic methods.

2019 Advanced Methods Workshop
“Translating causality into practice: causal questions and analysis in applied epidemiology”
June 17, 2019
12:00 – 3:00pm
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Jonathan M Snowden

Jonathan M Snowden, PhD, is a perinatal epidemiologist and health services researcher who is an Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University School of Public Health. Dr. Snowden’s research program focuses on advanced methods as applied to real-world sexual and reproductive health questions, with a particular emphasis on the reproductive and sexual health of racial, ethnic, and sexual/gender minority populations. His current work focuses on maternal health before, during, and after birth.  

Kelly M Reavis

Kelly M Reavis, MPH, MS, CCC-A is a 4th year PhD student of epidemiology in the Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University School of Public Health. Ms. Reavis is also a clinically certified audiologist with over 15 years of clinical research experience in Veteran hearing health. Her research focuses on disentangling the downstream effects of hearing loss while emphasizing upstream prevention strategies. She has a special interest in ushering in advanced epidemiologic methods to hearing science.

Workshop Overview:

Perinatal epidemiology has been at the forefront of the increased focus on causal inference that has transformed epidemiology. Development and refinement of advanced methods has changed how we conceive of foundational epidemiologic concepts (e.g., selection bias), conduct our analyses, and teach our students. Although this methodological innovation has opened new possibilities and clarified areas of long-standing confusion, translation of these concepts and methods has lagged their development. In particular, as epidemiologists increasingly work alongside other population health scientists (e.g., health policy analysts) and clinician-scientists, we need to clearly define our causal concepts and approaches in ways that can be broadly understood. Continued uptake of these important methods rests on this. Also, the focus on causal methods has sometimes come at the expense of formulating causal questions. Because question formulation and study design come logically before selection of analysis approach, there is a need to more explicitly focus on the process of formulating a causal question, and how this proceeds leads to methodological considerations. This workshop addresses both of these topics. Led by an inter-disciplinary team including a population-health scientist and a clinician-scientist/epidemiology student, we will focus on (1) formulation of high-impact causal questions, and (2) translation of causal concepts and methods to an audience including policymakers and clinicians as well as epidemiologists.

Click here to access slides from the 2010-2019 workshops.