Original Publication
Open Access

The Making Evidence Based Medicine Simple Series – Prognosis Module

Published: June 6, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9440

Included in this publication:

  • Authors Instructions - MESS Curriculum - Overview.pdf
  • Authors Instructions - MESS Curriculum - Prognosis Module.pdf
  • Critical Article Review - Mortality after Osteoporotic Fracture - JAMA - 2009.pdf
  • Critical Article Review Form - Prognosis.doc
  • EBM Teaching Tips - General Approach to the Modules.pdf
  • EBM Teaching Tips - Prognosis.pdf
  • Lecture Script - Prognosis Studies.pdf
  • Lecture Slides - Prognosis Studies.pdf
  • Lecture Slides - Prognosis Studies.ppt
  • Quiz - Prognosis.pdf
  • Quiz Answers - Prognosis.pdf
  • Video Screencast - Prognosis.mp4

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


The Making Evidence-Based Medicine Simple Series is an evidence-based clinical practice curriculum. It consists of six modules reviewing the articles types addressing the most common clinical questions (i.e., diagnosis, therapy, harm, prognosis, meta-analysis, and clinical decision rules). Each module reviews an article using the Users Guide to Medical Literature criteria for validity, results, and applicability. Each modules includes a PowerPoint presentation with a script, a video of the presentation with narration, a quiz with answers, tips for teaching the module, a blank review form, and a completed critical article review for the article reviewed in the module.

The prognosis module reviews the appraisal of the validity, results, and applicability of a prospective cohort study of an Australian population with osteoporotic fractures. The study addresses the following clinical question: Do patients over 60 years of age with an osteoporotic fracture, when compared to age and gender matched controls and followed over time, have in increased risk of all-cause mortality? In addition, this module reviews the following critical appraisal skills: (1) determining the difference between a prognostic and risk factor, (2) distinguishing between prevalence and incidence, (3) defining and interpreting standardized mortality ratios, (4) interpreting Kaplan-Meier survival curves, and (5) identifying factors suggestive of causality versus association.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Differentiate between prognostic factors and risk factors.
  2. Identify study designs applicable to prognosis studies.
  3. Outline a prognosis question in population/patient, intervention/indicator, comparator/control, and outcome format.
  4. Understand the validity criteria for a prognosis study.
  5. Distinguish between measures of frequency (i.e., prevalence and incidence).
  6. Define and calculate person-years.
  7. Interpret absolute mortality rates and life years lost.
  8. Define and interpret standardized mortality ratios.
  9. Interpret Kaplan-Meier survival curves.
  10. Understand the principles and utility of univariable and multivariable analyses.
  11. Interpret confidence intervals for precision and statistical significance.
  12. Identify factors suggestive of causality versus association.
  13. Understand the applicability criteria for a prognosis study.
  14. Develop a clinical bottom line for a prognosis study.

Author Information

  • Michael Mojica, MD: New York University School of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


Mojica M. The making evidence based medicine simple series – prognosis module. MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9440. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9440