clinical epidemiology

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Use of epidemiological methods in a clinical setting with patients as the subjects of study. Examples include some case control studies, clinical decision analysis, and clinical trials. Except in cohort studies, there is seldom a denominator for calculating rates, i.e., a “population at risk.” Instead, most inferences from clinical epidemiology are derived from comparisons of population groups, preferably similar in as many respects as possible other than exposure to the factor under investigation. Clinical epidemiologists prefer valid diagnoses in small finite populations rather than broad diagnostic categories or the syndromic approach often used in epidemiological studies of large populations and prefer to use Bayesian inferences for analysis.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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