Chapter

Epidemiology: Principles and Practical Guidelines

pp 417-438

Date:

Statistical Estimation

  • Jan Van den BroeckAffiliated withCentre for International Health, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen Email author 
  • , Jonathan R. BrestoffAffiliated withPerelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • , Catherine KaulfussAffiliated withCentre for International Health, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen

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Abstract

This first chapter on study analysis covers statistical estimation methods that are frequently made use of in epidemiological research. It does so at an introductory level only. In the first section we explain important concepts related to statistical estimation: we distinguish estimators from estimates, and we contrast (1) point vs. interval estimates and (2) crude vs. adjusted estimates. In the ensuing sections, we discuss the estimation of outcome frequency in a single group and des­criptive comparisons of outcome frequencies in multiple groups. Standardization of estimates falls within that context but is dealt with in a separate section. Finally, estimation of outcome parameters in analytical studies is covered, with special attention to strategies for controlling confounding during analysis.