Observational study design.

Research paper by Raymond G RG Hoffmann, Hyun Ja HJ Lim

Indexed on: 03 May '08Published on: 03 May '08Published in: Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)


Much can be learned about a process by observing changes over time or by comparing two different processes under different conditions. This chapter introduces the major types of observational study designs: the longitudinal or cohort study, the comparative or case-control study, and some of their variants. It also includes examples of the key measures of relationship between factor and outcome in observational studies, the relative risk and the odds ratio. The similarity of the two measures for low incidence outcomes is illustrated, as is the use of attributable risk to assess how much of a binary outcome is due to a single factor.