Overview of Study Designs

Thomas D. Koepsell and Noel S. Weiss

in Epidemiologic Methods

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195150780
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865161 | DOI:
 Overview of Study Designs

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A study design is a plan for selecting study subjects and for obtaining data about them. Study subjects in epidemiology are typically individual people, but at times they can be other kinds of observation units, such as social groups, places, time periods, or even published articles. In practice, a few standard designs account for most epidemiologic research. These standard designs offer enough flexibility to address a wide range of research questions. Knowledge of their pros and cons can usually guide the investigator to a study design that is well matched to a particular research question. This chapter provides a broad overview by introducing several standard designs and the terms that are commonly used to describe them and distinguish them from each other. Exercises are provided at the end of the chapter.

Keywords: epidemiology; epidemiological research; study design; design tree; descriptive studies; analytic studies

Chapter.  8512 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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