PBHL 537
Health Policy Analysis Using SAS and STATA

Each year, the federal government makes considerable amounts of population health data available to researchers.  In this course, students will gain theoretical and practical knowledge of databases that are frequently used to support population health, health policy and health services research, including the NHANES, NHIS, NEDS, and MEPS.  Understanding and selection of research designs and statistical methods will be reinforced through the review of select manuscripts from the population health, health policy, and health services literature.  Didactic material and problem sets will enable students to use SAS and STATA for preparing datasets, creating customized variables, and conducting common statistical analyses.  Further, students will build and reinforce skills in research question development, project design, data management, statistical analyses, technical writing, and data presentation through a course-long research project.


Access to SAS (student version is satisfactory) or STATA required; undergraduate or graduate course in statistics or comparable experience required; graduate course or comparable experience in policy analysis required.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify a question or problem in population health, health policy, or health services that can be addressed through an analysis of existing datasets, such as the NHANES, NHIS, MEPS, or NEDS.
  • Distinguish among different types of study designs and methods used in population health, policy, and health services research in regard to applications, methods, and utility.
  • Develop a brief plan that outlines research objectives, datasets and pertinent variables that will be needed, and specific analyses to be conducted.
  • Write SAS and/or STATA code to conduct data management activities and statistical analyses.
  • Develop written reports, oral presentations, and visual mechanisms for conveying research to various professional and lay audiences.



Class Type

Graduate Course