HP4C2E      Half Unit
Quality and Outcomes in Cardiovascular Sciences

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Rocco Friebel COW 2.09


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

Against a backdrop of great technological advances and delivery system innovations, healthcare systems are facing daunting challenges. Over the past half-century, research on cardiovascular diseases has manifested remarkable advances in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Yet, great challenges remain, primarily due to a lack of strong research evidence about how best to improve the quality, outcomes, and efficiency in health systems with a focus on cardiovascular diseases. Outcomes research aims to produce such evidence.

In addition to briefly reviewing key epidemiological trends in cardiovascular diseases in Europe and globally, this course will introduce key 'evidence-practice' gaps in cardiovascular diseases. The first part of the course provides an overview of the definition of quality, its key components, and its measurement in different health care systems. The second part offers a critical perspective on the literature evaluating quality improvement interventions focused on the cardiovascular disease field. The third part focuses on the basics of study design for evaluating quality improvement interventions, programmes, and policies, distinguishing between strong and weak research designs.

The intended learning outcomes of this course are the following:

  • Describe the epidemiological trends in cardiovascular disease
  • Summarise the primary components of quality in health care
  • Explain the main limitations of the literature evaluating quality improvement interventions
  • Define the principal threats to validity in studies evaluating quality
  • Design an evaluation strategy for a quality improvement policy or intervention in a group setting
  • Critically evaluate empirical evaluations of quality and outcomes in health care research in oral and written form


The course will be delivered in no less than 24 hours and comprises lectures and seminars


Formative coursework

Formative feedback on group presentations

Indicative reading

Krumholz HM. Outcomes research: generating evidence for best practice and policies. Circulation 2008;118:309–18.

Ellwood PM. Shattuck lecture – outcomes management: a technology of patient experience. N Engl J Med 1988; 318: 1549–56.

Clancy CM et al. Outcomes research: measuring the end results of health care. Science 1998; 282: 245–46.

McGlynn EA. Six challenges in measuring the quality of health care. Health Affairs 1997;16.3:7–21.

Chalkidou et al. Comparative effectiveness research and evidence-based health policy: experience from four countries. Milbank Quarterly 2009:87.2: 339–67.

Cook TD. et al (1979). Quasi-experimentation: Design and Analysis Issues for Field settings. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Concato J et al. Randomized, controlled trials, obser vational studies, and the hierarchy of research designs. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:1887–92.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 9.9
Merit 64.8
Pass 22
Fail 3.3

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills