Observational Studies in the Era of Evidence Based Medicine: Short Review on their Relevance, Taxonomy and Designs

Authors

  • Ines Fronteira Unidade de Saúde Pública Internacional e Bioestatística. Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical. Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Lisboa. Portugal.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20344/amp.3975

Abstract

In this review of the literature, we distinguish between experimental and observational studies, highlighting the importance that the later have gained in the era of evidence-based medicine. We further analyze the value of observational studies in light of experimental studies. We present a taxonomy for observational studies based on units of observation and measurement (cross-sectional or longitudinal). We distinguish between descriptive studies and analytical studies. Then, and given its specificity, we define and present a classification for ecological studies. We define and consider the advantages and disadvantages of cross-sectional, case control and cohort studies. We analyze the strength of the evidence given by each study design. We finished by examining what should guide the choice of a study design.

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Author Biography

Ines Fronteira, Unidade de Saúde Pública Internacional e Bioestatística. Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical. Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Lisboa. Portugal.

Professora auxiliar da Unidade de Saúde Pública Internacional e Bioestatística, Coordenadora do Mestrado em Epidemiologia do Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical da Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Published

2013-06-05

How to Cite

1.
Fronteira I. Observational Studies in the Era of Evidence Based Medicine: Short Review on their Relevance, Taxonomy and Designs. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 2013 Jun. 5 [cited 2024 Jun. 21];26(2):161-70. Available from: https://www.actamedicaportuguesa.com/revista/index.php/amp/article/view/3975

Issue

Section

Review Articles