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Case-Control Studies

  • Michael Alderson

Consideration of case-control studies introduces the first category of study that is essentially hypothesis-testing in aim. (Hypothesis-testing studies may also be referred to as analytic or a priori studies.) A major difference from surveys is the requirement to collect information about the past from respondents in case-control studies. The collection of data on the past introduces an additional dimension to the study design and permits a wide range of issues to be explored. At the same time, it has an important bearing upon the validity of the data that can be collected; this is discussed further in subsection 5.2.5. Because the retrospective nature was felt to be an important part of case-control studies and related to major issues of validity, the expression ‘retrospective study’ was used to describe this method. Unfortunately other terms are also used for such studies: case-referent, case-compeer, and trohoc; such multiplicity of expression can cause confusion and the general use of the term case-control is therefore advocated. (‘Retrospective study’ can also refer to other categories of study that do not involve controls.)

Keywords

Relative Risk Bladder Cancer Endometrial Cancer British Medical Journal Chronic Bronchitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Michael Alderson 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Alderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Office of Population Censuses and SurveysUK

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