Clinical epidemiology

Clinical epidemiology applies statistical and epidemiological principles and methods for supporting research on clinical topics (diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and prevention), in order to improve validity of clinical evidence and its utilization. It provides the methodological framework to critically use scientific evidence in clinical practice (Evidence Based Medicine) and in healthcare decision processes (Evidence Based Health Care).

General aims of this area, according with the activities of the Oncology network area, refer to the following institutional activities:

  • to promote research and evaluation projects on relevant topics related to quality of cancer care;
  • to assist, within multidisciplinary groups, in performing systematic search of the literature and developing clinical guidelines and evidence based pathways of cancer care;
  • to provide statistical and epidemiological support to Health Service Units in the design, conduction and analysis of clinical research studies in oncology and onco-hematology;
  • to produce data at population level on healthcare service utilization, hospital access and outcomes of oncological patients, together with national and international comparisons, in order to support cancer care Regional planning;
  • to collaborate with national and international organisations, like the National Screening Network, the Ministry of Health, Eusoma, Senonetwork, IARC, WHO and the European Commission in producing data on quality and outcomes of cancer secondary prevention and care;
  • to promote training initiatives in order to improve the use of statistical and epidemiological methods adoption in the clinical governance among the centres belonging to the Oncology Network of Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta.

Specific activities include the followings.

  • Administrative data analysis, with periodic production of indicators related to hospital admissions, to outpatients services of radiotherapy and PET/TC, and to patterns-of-care for some specific cancers among regional residents. Analysis of outcome indicators for cancer care, according to the Programma Nazionale Esiti (PNE), are in progress.
  • The consolidation of the EPICLIN project, that is a web-site for supporting the clinical trial conduction in oncology and onco-haematology, by offering an e-tool for data collection among multicentric studies, supporting research groups on methodological aspects and promoting independent research.
  • Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) diffusion, to support the linkage between research and clinical practice and quality of care improvement, by means of clinical audits. Related to such area are also the production of clinical guidelines for frequent cancer sites and the collaboration to Health Technology Assessment activities.
  • Collaboration in the production of clinical Guidelines with IARC, WHO and the European Commission (ISPRA)