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According to Calow (2009), epidemiological studies are geared towards identifying the link between various diseases and a particular exposure. This study comprises of various assessment studies such as confounding studies and case studies.

Strengths and weaknesses of epidemiological studies






Confounding in epidemiology refers to the integration of the effect of exposure being studied on the outcome with that of another factor associated with such exposure together with independent risk factors that cause the disease (Silman, 2002).



Every individual score in the study is independent and is not influenced by other scores (Merrill, 2010). This eliminates the possibility of complexity during the study. The scores are independent of factors such as experience or practice the researcher has developed from conducting other treatments. Also the score will not be influenced by fatigue that may arise from the individual carrying out a series of various treatments or by the contrast of effects that arise from comparison of one treatment to another for instance the room temperature.



There is numerous numbers of participants which pose a challenge especially when dealing with the special populations.

Furthermore, the participant characteristics may change from one group to another and this may result to the process becoming complex. For instance, the participant of a particular group may vary in age or size.

Moreover, the groups also depict variations in regard to environmental characteristics of the group which may make the comparison of the concerned groups difficult. For example, cases where one group may have been tested while in a larger room than the other group.

Additionally, it is evident that during between-subject experimental designs, there is no need for the researcher to gain control over assignments of the present individual groups. This indicates that the groups should be should be composed of different equivalent individuals, created equally and also be treated equally unless when experimenting for treatment conditions (National research council, 1991).

Case studies


Case control studies concentrates on the examination of multiple exposures in regard to a particular disease. The subjects are involved are defined mostly as cases and controls and then comparison of exposure histories is done (Merrill, 2006).



The method can be useful while evaluating a number of exposures. Case control study method can easily be applied when there is need to study different number of exposures.

In addition, the method can be effective with smaller sample sizes. The efficiency of case control method does not necessary depend on the sample size but mostly on the quality of work done (Gail & Bénichou, 2000).

More importantly, is that the method requires fewer resources, when compared with the other methods, to efficiently produce quality results. This makes the study to be cheaper and cost effective.

Furthermore, case control studies are not time consuming and with little time, the study can be completed.

Likewise, it is also effective to study diseases which are rare, and has long latent period and induction.

In addition, case control studies are known to be retrospective where the cases are identified before the process commences which eradicate chances of having long follow up periods as is common in cohort studies.



The study is particularly prone to being bias. This is evident through recall, selection and also observer bias.

Mainly case studies targets at examining only one outcome which is not the case with most of other studies.

It is impossible to estimate diseases incidence rate while using case control method except when the study is based on the population

It is difficult to determine the temporal sequence of occurrence between the disease and the exposure.


Confounding cases enhances the integration of effect of exposure on the disease with another factor associated with the exposure while putting into consideration independent risk factors of the disease. In contrast, case studies require fewer resources, and less time. The study is effective for rare diseases.

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