Upcoming Events

Public health research tools in R, supported by the Society for Social Medicine and Population Health

May 28th 2020, University of Glasgow (UofG)

Course instructors: Dr. Mirjam Allik (UofG), Mr. Jaime Villacampa (Information Services Division, ISD), Mr. Andrew Baxter (UofG)

This one-day workshop aims to introduce different tools in R for public health research to both academic and non-academic audiences. R has become increasingly popular among data analysts and researchers, but currently, there is no good overview of the relevant packages and other tools available in R for public health research. This workshop fills this gap by providing an overview of the available tools and packages that are of most help to academic and non-academic analysts in the field of public health. The workshop will be free for the participants.

The workshop will provide a hands-on practical opportunity for participants to learn and test out the different R packages and visualization methods with ample instruction and lab support on the day. The course will cover:

  1. Overview of different public health-related packages in R (popEpi, SocEpi, epiR, Epi, epitools, dsr) and advice on how to search and find relevant packages.
  2. Direct and indirect standardisation, calculating health inequality measures (e.g. RII/SII) and visualisation of results in R, including examples and an opportunity for participants to practice their skills.
  3. Using R Shiny for exploring and presenting public health data and for public engagement.
  4. Problem solving in R and a discussion of participant questions.

The workshop will not cover underpinning methodology (e.g. what is direct standardisation or what are relative and slope indices of inequality) and assumes that participants are familiar with these concepts. The focus of the day will be on the practical implementation, i.e. how R can be a useful tool for academic and non-academic public health researchers. Instructions on how to install R/RStudio and relevant other tools and packages will be sent out to participants ahead of time.

About the instructors: MA is a research associate at UofG who has developed the R package SocEpi for health inequalities research. She has previous experience developing and delivering R training for various audiences, including the Information Services Division (ISD). JV is a senior information analyst at the ISD from NHS National Services Scotland. He has developed interactive tools in R Shiny to explore data on health outcomes, their wider determinants and their variation with socioeconomic deprivation. AB is a PhD candidate at the UofG and convener of the RGlasgow meetup group. He has experience in building R Shiny apps to conduct analyses and produce visualisations for publication and public engagement.

To apply, please fill out the R in PubHealth workshop application form and send your responses to SPHSU-RinPubHealth@glasgow.ac.uk by 26 February, 2020. Applicants will be informed of the outcome by the end of March.