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Week 7 Epidemioligy

  • Date Submitted: 08/25/2013 09:56 AM
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Compare and contrast the cohort study approach with case-control studies. Determine which you believe is most effective and explain why. Provide specific examples to support your response or cohort studies.
Cohort is defined as one of the ten divisions of a Roman legion, consisting of 300 to 600 men, and a   group or band united in a struggle (Fleming, 2008, pg. 295). This word is used to identify a group of people who are identified at the beginning of a study and followed by prospectively for a period to observe what happens to them. If the intention is to focus on a particular population or on people with particular exposures, the retrospective cohort design is preferable. If the particular focus is on the disease, then the case control design would have many advantages. Even when wanting to use a cohort design, putting together the resources needed may be difficult and expensive. They require long term committment and also it may be hard to obtain sufficiently comprehensive information from the past. An important strength of the cohort design is the ability to directly measure relative and attributable risk (Fleming, 2008, p. 298). With control studies, controls must be chosen very carefully. An unexpected link can possibly exist between the controls and the exposure being studied. This can inturn bias the results and compromise the value of the study. The advantages of case control studies is that they can be done quickly and at a low cost. The strength of cohort studies is the ability to directly measure relative and attitbutable risk. The need to estimate the same rates is a weakness of case control studies. I think the most effective would be case control studies. They are inexpensive and an efficient way to measure the effect of exposures. It determines the extent of relationships between risk factors and outcomes.   It is suited for rare diseases with long latency periods or exposures over a long period (Fleming, 2008, p. 290).

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