7. Prognostic Research: From Basics to Modelling

Detailed course description (PDF)


Prof. Margaret May
University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Prof. Matthias Egger
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM), University of Bern, Switzerland


 Prognosis is the probability that a specific event will occur in the future. Prognostic research is fundamental to clinical decision making, healthcare policy, and discovering new approaches to patient management. It is part of evidence-based medicine and as such needs to adhere to the highest standards. In this course we describe different aspects of prognostic research including the course of disease as it is currently diagnosed and treated (fundamental research), specific factors (such as biomarkers) that are associated with outcomes, the development, validation and impact of prognostic models, and using prognostic information to help tailor treatment decisions to an individual (stratified medicine). Unfortunately there is often a gap in translating prognostic information into clinically useful decision tools. Many prognostic models are proposed, but relatively few have clinical impact. This might improve with better prognostic research, but also crucially by evaluating models in clinical practice – healthcare technology assessment.

Course objectives

By the end of the course participants will have

  • An understanding of the 4 types of prognostic research
    • Fundamental prognosis research
    • Prognostic factors
    • Prognostic models
    • Stratified medicine
  • An understanding of how prognosis is used in clinical decision making and in discovering new approaches to managing patients.
  • Practical experience of analysing and assessing potential prognostic factors.
  • Practical experience of developing and validating a prognostic model.
  • An understanding of the quality of prognostic research and how it can be improved.

Course fees

Academic fee: CHF 900
Industry fee: CHF 2’000
SSPH+ fee: only applicable for students of the SSPH+ PhD Program in Public Health