Chapter

Strategy for Drawing Inferences from Epidemiologic Evidence

David A. Savitz

in Interpreting Epidemiologic Evidence

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780195108408
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865765 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195108408.003.0003
Strategy for Drawing Inferences from Epidemiologic Evidence

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The central goal in evaluating epidemiologic evidence is to define accurately the sources of uncertainty and the probability of errors of varying magnitude affecting the results. Validity is established by systematically considering and eliminating, or more often reducing, the sources of bias that detract from validity rather than affirmatively demonstrating its presence. This chapter discusses the need for systematic evaluation of sources of error, the need for objective assessment of epidemiologic evidence, estimation of measures of effect, conceptual framework for the evaluation of error, identification of the most important sources of error, strategies for specifying scenarios of bias, and epidemiologic research on the relation between dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (ddt) exposure and breast cancer.

Keywords: epidemiological research; evidence evaluation; validity; epidemiological studies

Chapter.  10294 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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