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Is there epidemiology in Russia?


OBJECTIVE To examine the current state of epidemiology in Russia.

DESIGN The structure of clinical research and statistical methods was used to shed light on the epidemiology in Russia. The frequencies of specific study designs were evaluated using Medline data for 1970–1997. To determine the proportion of advanced design clinical studies the frequency of cohort, prospective, follow up, or longitudinal studies, and controlled trials was evaluated. All diagnosis related studies were found to determine the usage of advanced statistical technique (ROC analysis). The adequacy of Medline information was checked by hand search of journals. All dissertations in epidemiology defended in Russia in 1995 and 1996 were evaluated for their methodology. The curriculum recommended by Ministry of Health to Medical Universities was evaluated. Available literature and library indexing of epidemiological terms examined.

MAIN RESULTS Russian medical research uses less frequently advanced study designs and methods of data analysis. Medical students are taught epidemiology as a science of spread of infectious diseases. There is no department of epidemiology in Russian universities where epidemiology is taught in the modern sense and no epidemiological and biostatistical periodicals available in Russia.

CONCLUSION Epidemiology in Russia remains in an archaic state of science of the spread of infectious diseases and it is detrimental to methodology of medical research in Russia.

  • Soviet Union
  • Russia
  • study design
  • comparative studies

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