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Subject: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY (A.A. 2023/2024)

degree course in PHYSIOTHERAPY

Course year 1
Teaching units Unit Statistica medica
Propedeutic Studies (lesson)
  • TAF: Basic compulsory subjects SSD: MED/01 CFU: 3
Teachers: Laura BONVICINI
Unit Igiene generale e applicata
Preventive Care and Health Services (lesson)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: MED/42 CFU: 1
Teachers: Elena RIGHI
Unit Ricerca in riabilitazione
Physiotherapy (lesson)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: MED/48 CFU: 1
Teachers: Stefania COSTI
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
Contents download pdf download


Stefania COSTI


The research methodology course allows the student to learn the methodological bases useful for facing the teachings of the three-year period with a critical approach. The course provides students with the knowledge of the inspiring principles of the Italian National Health Service and of the priority health problems in Italy, with the basic skills to build clinical research questions (PICOM) to conduct searches in the main biomedical literature databases, to distinguish and apply the different epidemiological study models that can be used for health research (descriptive and analytical observational studies and experimental studies ) and interpret their results. The course provides the useful skills:
• to analyze the distribution and frequency of health events in the population,
• to process data through the use of tables, graphs, position and dispersion indices (also through the Excel software)
• to understand the fundamentals of statistical inference
• to construct and interpret the main association and efficacy measures used in experimental and observational studies.

Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of mathematics and computer science.

Course contents

The course consists of the following modules:
Research methodology 1 CFU
Hygiene and epidemiology 1 CFU
Statistics 3 CFU (4 for some courses borrowed)
In some borrowed courses the course also includes the module of Electronic and Computer Bioengineering (2 CFU)
Elements of Evidence Based practice (EBP): the EBP paradigm, the clinical question and the research question, the sources of evidence. The main databases of biomedical interest. Search Strategies in PubMed. Elements of epidemiological methodology: main measures of frequency and association of health phenomena. Main characteristics of descriptive, analytical (cross-sectional, case-control, cohort) and experimental (clinical and field trials) epidemiological studies. Analysis and discussion of epidemiological studies on issues relating to the area of rehabilitation. Introduction to descriptive statistics, to the concept of variable and frequency. In-depth study of position and variability measures. Elements of inferential statistics and introduction to the use of excel software.

Teaching methods

Teaching is delivered through lectures and tutorials in group to allow the student to acquire research and critical evaluation skills of the literature. Attendance is compulsory at 75% of the entire course as required by the teaching regulations (please refer to the document). A lower attendance does not allow registration for the exam session. Teachers are available for reception by appointment (see instructions on the teacher's page on the Unimore site). The course is held in Italian.

Assessment methods

The exam of the Research Methodology course is written and consists of 40 multiple choice quizzes, integrated with questions of Hygiene, Statistics, Methodology and application questions on the part of exercises. The final grade consists in the grade of the Research Methodology paper (Hygiene + Statistics + methodology + Exercises). For TRP and Logo this grade is weighted average with the Computer Science exam The examination is in presence, compatibly with the provisions of the law. The exam sessions (6 total) are distributed as follows: 2-3 January / February + 2 June / July + 1-2 September, with registration closing at least one week before the exam. TRP and Logo only: also written about computer science For FT and TO: all exams will be recorded For TRP and Logo: standard exams will be inserted as indicated above + one session of minutes only at the end of the session (end of February, end of July, end of September) to which ONLY those who have passed the integrated modules of Hygiene, Statistics and Methodology will have to register and the IT module Appeals session January / February: as per the regulations and indications of the University, the appeal is in presence, with a reduced maximum number due to the epidemiological situation. For the cases provided for in the self-declaration, which must be sent to the teaching staff within the deadline set 5 days before the exam session for which one has enrolled (e.g. by 14 January for the exam scheduled for 19 January) , the remote appeal procedure will be set up. Any remote exam will take place either at the same time as the written exam or on another date by the end of the winter exam session, in a manner that will depend on the number of students who will be entitled to take the remote exam (oral question or interview with multiple questions on the online platform).

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
a) know the correct and accurate terminology and within the disciplines covered by the course
b) know the paradigm of EBP, its evolution in the global healthcare context and the reasons behind the need for constant self-directed updating
c) know the main frequency and association measures used in the epidemiological field and the main epidemiological study models to be used for research in the health sector
d) know the synthesis and variability indices of a distribution, the meaning of statistical inference and of the statistical significance test
e) know the major data banks of biomedical interest
f) apply their knowledge in the use of Excel to create a database and to process statistical data through the use of tables, graphs, position and variability indices.
g) apply one's knowledge and judgment skills to carry out a critical reading of a scientific article, recognizing its structure and the elements characterizing the study design
h) devise a correct clinical question (PICO)
i) carry out a bibliographic search on a database of biomedical interest (Medline / Pubmed), support arguments in support of the choice of the research strategy implemented.
l) verify your degree of learning and understanding of the concepts exposed thanks to the possibility of intervening in class and the possibility of carrying out exercises in the classroom


Epidemiologia facile -Lopalco PL, Tozzi AE, Il pensiero scientifico editore, 2003. Epidemiologia di base - R. Beaglehole, R. Bonita e T. Kjellstrom, WHO, 1993, ed. italiana Editoriale Fernando Folini, 2003. L'infermieristica basata su prove di efficacia - Guida operativa per l'Evidence Based Nursing Di: Paolo Chiari, Daniela Mosci, Enrico Naldi, Centro Studi EBN oppure Evidence-Based Practice for Occupational Therapists (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 17 set 2007 di M. Clare Taylor (Autore).
Statistiche report Istat, Indicatori demografici anno 2022 - 07 aprile 2023 accessibile at chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/