Statistical Review - Studying Outbreaks with COVID-19
In this statistical review episode of Curbside Consults, we explore descriptive epidemiology studies of the COVID-19 outbreak using an article by Guan and colleagues published online in NEJM on February 28, 2020. To help explain the approach to outbreak study analysis, we are joined once again by Dr. David Harrington, statistical consultant at NEJM and Professor emeritus of Biostatistics at Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health.
0:00 – Introduction 2:35 – Why are descriptive epidemiology studies so important during outbreaks? 4:05 – How was this study performed? 5:30 – Demographic information of those infected with COVID-19 7:02 – Creating subgroups and composite outcomes retrospectively 8:01 – Statistical analysis of descriptive epidemiology data 10:05 – Taking caution when interpreting incubation times 10:57 – Trends in symptomology and diagnostic test results 12:48 – Clinical course, treatment, and outcomes 14:22 – How descriptive studies help us 16:48 – Summarizing the study results 18:18 – Outro
The Curbside Consults series complements the foundational information in Rotation Prep by taking a deep dive into key clinical topics with expert clinicians and educators. These podcasts explore and critique the evidence behind clinical practice and break down statistical concepts for the busy clinical trainee.
David Harrington is Emeritus Professor of Biostatistics and Statistics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Ahmad is a 2019-2020 editorial fellow at the New England Journal of Medicine. He is from Toronto, Canada where he is completing his training in pulmonary medicine at the University of Toronto.