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To what extent can the observed association between the exposure and outcome be attributed to non-causal explanations?

This assignment is based on the learning objectives and concepts in Topics 6-12, but may also require knowledge from Topics 1-5. There are a total of 100 marks and this assignment will contribute 50% towards the total assessment for this subject. The marking matrix that will be used for this assignment is also attached.>

Your assignment should be typed, with adequate space left between questions. Assignments should be submitted via vUWS. See specific instructions below relating to the format of Assignment 3. Be as concise as possible in your answers, and note that there are specified space-limitations for each question.
Please note this is an individual exercise.
Late assignments will not be accepted without prior approval.
Select one of the following papers:
Byrne M, Agerbo E, Bennedsen B, Eaton WW, Mortensen PB. Obstetric conditions and risk of first admission with schizophrenia: A Danish national register based study. Schizophrenia Research 2007;97:51-59.
McGann SE, Yeh M, Rodabaugh K, Moysich KB. Higher regular coffee and tea consumption is associated with reduced endometrial cancer risk. International Journal of Cancer 2009;134(7):1650-1653.

Reflect upon the content of the topics we have covered in this course, and critically appraise the article you have selected by answering the following questions. You may use additional source material as you need to.
Please use your own words. Review the University of Western Sydney plagiarism policy before starting (see the Course Learning guide).

This assignment is based on the learning objectives and concepts in Topics 6-12, but may also require knowledge from Topics 1-5. There are a total of 100 marks and this assignment will contribute 50% towards the total assessment for this subject. The marking matrix that will be used for this assignment is also attached.

Your assignment should be typed, with adequate space left between questions. Assignments should be submitted via vUWS. See specific instructions below relating to the format of Assignment 3. Be as concise as possible in your answers, and note that there are specified space-limitations for each question.

Please note this is an individual exercise.
Late assignments will not be accepted without prior approval.
Select one of the following papers:
Byrne M, Agerbo E, Bennedsen B, Eaton WW, Mortensen PB. Obstetric conditions and risk of first admission with schizophrenia: A Danish national register based study. Schizophrenia Research 2007;97:51-59.
McGann SE, Yeh M, Rodabaugh K, Moysich KB. Higher regular coffee and tea consumption is associated with reduced endometrial cancer risk. International Journal of Cancer 2009;134(7):1650-1653.

Reflect upon the content of the topics we have covered in this course, and critically appraise the article you have selected by answering the following questions. You may use additional source material as you need to.

Please use your own words. Review the University of Western Sydney plagiarism policy before starting (see the Course Learning guide).

QUESTION 1:

Describe the evidence presented in the paper you selected. Specifically address the following questions:
-What was the exposure or intervention?
-What was the outcome?
-What was the study design?
-What was the study population?
-What were the main findings?
Limit of 1 page. Please note: Only one page of text will be marked [20 marks]

QUESTION 2:

Do you think there is evidence of a causal association between the exposure and the outcome? This question relates to the internal validity of the study. Consider the following questions in your critique:
-Is there a temporal relationship between exposure and outcome?
-Is there a strong relationship between the exposure and the outcome?
-Is there a dose-response relationship between exposure and the outcome?
-Are the results consistent within the study?
Limit of 2 pages. Please note: Only 2 pages of text will be marked [30 marks]

QUESTION 3:

To what extent can the observed association between the exposure and outcome be attributed to non-causal explanations? Consider the following questions in your critique:
-Are the results likely to be affected by selection and/or measurement bias?
-Are the results likely to be affected by confounding?
-Are the results likely to be affected by chance variation?
Limit of 2 pages. Please note: Only 2 pages of text will be marked [30 marks]

QUESTION 4:

Do the findings accord with other evidence? Specifically:
-Are the findings consistent with other evidence, particularly evidence from studies of similar or more powerful study design?
-Are the results plausible in terms of a biological mechanism?
Limit of 1 page. Please note: Only one page of text will be marked [10 marks]

QUESTION 5:

Are the findings externally valid, that is generalisable? Specifically:
-Can the findings be applied to the source population from which the study population was derived?
-Can the study results be applied to other relevant populations?
Limit of 1 page. Please note: Only one page of text will be marked [10 marks]

ASSIGNMENT 3 FORMATTING

As indicated above, there are page limits for each of the questions in this Assignment. Please note, this does not include a reference list, which can be appended separately to your final document.

Please ensure that your assignment complies with the following formatting specifications. Assignments that do not comply with these specifications will not be marked.

Format: A single Word document file

Page Limits: As indicated for each question (see questions above)

Paper Size: Standard A4 (210 x 297mm)

Margins: All margins at least 2.0cm.

Font At least 12 point and Times New Roman only

Line spacing: Must be set to single or greater.

Character spacing: Spacing must be set to normal. Scale must be set to 100%.

Web Links: Links to additional information on any website must not be included in your assignment

Graphics: Graphics (pictures, diagrams etc) may be included in the response if contained within the page limits provided.

Tables: Tabulated information may be included if contained within the page limits provided.

References: Harvard or Vancouver style. Attach references as a separate page at the end of your Assignment. Reference list is not included within page limits

ASSIGNMENT 3 MARKING MATRIX

The following marking matrix will be used to mark each question. Each question will be marked according to:
(1) ‘Structure and organisation’ (10%)
(2) ‘Content: evidence and argument’ (60%)
(3) ‘Style and format’ (20%).
(4) ‘Sources and references’ (10%).

For each question, a total weighted mark will be derived (combining the mark for each component) and then scaled to the value of each question as indicated.

PUBH7600 Assignment 3 Marking Matrix.
Marking Matrix FAIL <50%
Grade=<3 PASS 50-64%
Grade 4 CREDIT 65-74%
Grade 5 DIST 75-84%
Grade 6 HIGH DIST >=85%
Grade 7
Relation to published work Not for dissemination Not publishable, but could be an internal report Publishable with substantial revisions after re-review Publishable with some significant revisions Publishable with minor revisions
Structure and Organisation

10% Assignment is unstructured or over structured with mostly lists. Information is poorly organized and does not flow logically. Assignment has some structure. Some information is poorly organized and at times does not flow logically.
Assignment structure is generally good. Most information is well organized and generally logical. Assignment has a good structure. Information is well organized and logical. Assignment is very well structured. Flow of the assignment is logical.
Similar to published work.
Content:
evidence and argument

60% Does not address the question.
Crucial omissions in information. Serious misinterpretation of data. Serious errors in deduction. Argument is weak or non-existent. No original observations. Some parts of the question are addressed.
Some major omissions in information and misinterpretation of data. Some errors in deduction. Some cohesion of argument. Few original observations.
Addresses the question.
Some minor omissions in information. Data is mostly interpreted correctly. Looks at strengths and weaknesses of data /information.
Argument is cohesive and backed up with some of the evidence provided. Some original observations.
Addresses key aspects of the question. Few omissions in information. Data is interpreted well. Argument is strong and backed up with some relevant evidence. Well synthesized and coherent argument, backed up with the evidence provided. Some novel observations and original thinking. Thoroughly addresses all aspects of the question. All relevant information is included in the assignment. Data is well analysed and interpreted correctly. Extensive critical appraisal of evidence and argument. Strong, cohesive argument backed up with evidence. Original and novel observations.
Style and Format

20% Large number of grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. Assignment contains English construction that is incomprehensible.
A number of grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. Many problems with English construction.
Some grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. English is sound. Assignment is well written. Some minor grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. Good use of English language. Assignment is cohesively written. Clear format. Very few grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors. Excellent use of English language.
Format is of publication standard.
Sources and References
10% Very few sources and references used. References come from only one source (eg websites, textbooks). Personal anecdotes without critique. Incomplete acknowledgement of work of others (plagiarism). Referencing style is very poor. A small number of sources and references used. References come from a limited number of sources. Some sources are not acknowledged. Referencing style is at times poor. A moderate number of sources and references used. Some variety in the type of references used, especially articles from peer-reviewed journals.
Sources are acknowledged. Referencing style is sound. A number of sources and references used. References come from a variety of sources. Sources are acknowledged and good use of referencing style. A large number of sources and references.
A large variety of references are used, including websites, articles, government reports, textbooks, etc.
Personal anecdotes subject to careful critique.
All sources are acknowledged and well referenced.


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