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OpenEpi is a free, web-based, open source, operating system-independent series of programs for use in epidemiology, biostatistics, public health, and medicine, providing a number of epidemiologic and statistical tools for summary data.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] OpenEpi was developed in JavaScript and HTML, and can be run in modern web browsers. The program can be run from the OpenEpi website or downloaded and run without a web connection. The source code and documentation is downloadable and freely available for use by other investigators. OpenEpi has been reviewed, both by media organizations and in research journals.[12][13][14][15][16]

The OpenEpi developers have had extensive experience in the development and testing of Epi Info, a program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and widely used around the world for data entry and analysis. OpenEpi was developed to perform analyses found in the DOS version of Epi Info modules StatCalc and EpiTable, to improve upon the types of analyses provided by these modules, and to provide a number of tools and calculations not currently available in Epi Info. It is the first step toward an entirely web-based set of epidemiologic software tools. OpenEpi can be thought of as an important companion to Epi Info and to other programs such as SAS, PSPP, SPSS, Stata, SYSTAT, Minitab, Epidata, and R (see the R programming language). Another functionally similar Windows-based program is Winpepi. See also list of statistical packages and comparison of statistical packages. Both OpenEpi and Epi Info were developed with the goal of providing tools for low and moderate resource areas of the world. The initial development of OpenEpi was supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Emory University.[17]

The types of calculations currently performed by OpenEpi include:

For epidemiologists and other health researchers, OpenEpi performs a number of calculations based on tables not found in most epidemiologic and statistical packages. For example, for a single 2x2 table, in addition to the results presented in other programs, OpenEpi provides estimates for:

  • Etiologic or prevented fraction in the population and in exposed with confidence intervals, based on risk, odds, or rate data
  • The cross-product and MLE odds ratio estimate
  • Mid-p exact p-values and confidence limits for the odds ratio
  • Calculations of rate ratios and rate differences with confidence intervals and statistical tests.

For stratified 2x2 tables with count data, OpenEpi provides:

  • Mantel-Haenszel (MH) and precision-based estimates of the risk ratio and odds ratio
  • Precision-based adjusted risk difference
  • Tests for interaction for the risk ratio, odds ratio, and risk difference
  • Four different confidence limit methods for the odds ratio.

Similar to Epi Info, in a stratified analysis, both crude and adjusted estimates are provided so that the assessment of confounding can be made. With rate data, OpenEpi provides adjusted rate ratio’s and rate differences, and tests for interaction. Finally, with count data, OpenEpi also performs a test for trend, for both crude data and stratified data.

In addition to being used to analyze data by health researchers, OpenEpi has been used as a training tool for teaching epidemiology to students at: Emory University, University of Massachusetts, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Morehouse College, Columbia University, University of Wisconsin, San Jose State University, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, University of Washington, and elsewhere. This includes campus-based and distance learning courses. Because OpenEpi is easy to use, requires no programming experience, and can be run on the internet, students can use the program and focus on the interpretation of results.

Version 2.2 of OpenEpi was released Nov 11 2007 with the improvement of being able to run in English, French, Spanish, or Italian. Version 2.3 was released May 20, 2009 and fixes a number of issues identified by users.

Comments and suggestions for improvements are welcomed and the developers respond to user queries. The developers encourage others to develop modules that could be added to OpenEpi and provide a developer’s tool at the website. Planned future development include improvements to existing modules, development of new modules, translation into other languages, and add the ability to cut and paste data and/or read data files.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. , Sullivan KM, Dean A, Soe MM (2009). OpenEpi - a web-based epidemiologic and statistical calculator for public health. Public Health Report (124): 471–474.
  2. , Sullivan K., Abramson J. (2008-07) Update on free epidemiologic software. The Epidemiology Monitor 29 (7): 3–4.
  3. Sullivan, K. (Spring-Summer 2008). Faculty Spotlight. The Epi Vanguard.
  4. Sullivan, KM (2007-12). OpenEpi now available in English, French, Italian, and Spanish. The Epidemiology Monitor 28 (14).
  5. , Sullivan KM, Dean A, Soe MM (2007-05) OpenEpi Version 2. The Epidemiology Monitor 28 (5): 1, 9–10.
  6. Sullivan, KM (2007-04). Overview Of Free Analytic Software for Epidemiologists. The Epidemiology Monitor 28 (4).
  7. Sullivan, KM (Spring 2007). OpenEpi - A web-based calculator. The Epi Vanguard.
  8. , Sullivan K, Dean A, Soe MM (2006-06) OpenEpi: an update. The Epidemiology Monitor 27 (6): 4.
  9. , Sullivan KM, Dean AG, Mir R (2004-04) OpenEpi: A new collaborative effort in epidemiologic computing. The Epidemiology Monitor 25 (4): 3, 7, 9.
  10. (11–14 June 2003) "OpenEpi: a new collaborative effort in epidemiologic computing" in 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research. {{{booktitle}}}. 
  11. (1–4 October 2003) "The Open Epi Initiative: Open Source Web Browser Software for Public Health" in Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Epidemiological Association. {{{booktitle}}}, Toledo, Spain: European Epidemiology Federation. 
  12. OpenEpi online « Technology, Health & Development
  13. Great free tools for teaching statistics | Education IT | ZDNet.com
  14. Antoch, J. (2008). Environment for statistical computing. Computer Science Review 2 (2): 113–122.
  15. (2008) 6th Research Methods in Community Medicine: Surveys, Epidemiologic Research, Programme Evaluation, Clinical Trials, John Wiley & Sons.
  16. Singh, S. (2009). Review of epidata entry and analysis freewares. Indian Journal of Community Medicine (34): 76–7.
  17. http://www.gatesfoundation.org/nr/public/media/annualreports/annualreport01/pdf/BMGF2001GlobalHealth.pdf

External linksEdit

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