Journal Article

Commentary: Trade-offs in the Development of a Sample Design for Case-Control Studies

Ralph DiGaetano and Joseph Waksberg

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 155, issue 8, pages 771-775
Published in print April 2002 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online April 2002 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Commentary: Trade-offs in the Development of a Sample Design for Case-Control Studies

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The recent article, “Comparison of Telephone Sampling and Area Sampling: Response Rates and Within-Household Coverage” (Am J Epidemiol 2001;153:1119–27), raised a number of issues related to two sampling methodologies that can be used for selecting population-based controls for case-control studies: random digit dialing (RDD) and area probability sampling. Some of these issues are discussed in this commentary in more detail to help in making sample design decisions, including the need to take the analysis plan into account when developing a sample design. Data from the paper are used to illustrate how the choice of sample design can affect analyses. Relative costs associated with the two methodologies as well as variance and bias concerns are also discussed in detail. Sample coverage issues, including those associated with list-assisted RDD, are considered, as are some advantages of the list-assisted approach. A discussion of the use of concurrent screening and sampling with an RDD approach as an alternative to periodically selecting fixed sample sizes is provided.

Keywords: bias; case-control studies; cluster sampling; data collection; intraclass correlation; random digit dialing; sample design; APS, area probability sample; RDD, random digit dialing; WISH, Women's Interview Study of Health

Journal Article.  4056 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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