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Making Sense of DataA Self-Instruction Manual on the Interpretation of Epidemiological Data$
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J. H. Abramson and Z. H. Abramson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195145250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195145250.001.0001

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Basic Concepts and Procedures

Basic Concepts and Procedures

(p.3) Section A Basic Concepts and Procedures
Making Sense of Data

J. H. Abramson

Z. H. Abramson

Oxford University Press

The exercises in this section have three main purposes. First, they introduce a basic approach to the appraisal of data presented in a table or diagram—the basic questions to be asked, and the explanations to be considered and tested, including the possible roles of artifacts, chance, and confounding and modifying factors. Also methods of testing causal explanations are considered. Second, fundamental terms and concepts are introduced, such as rates of different kinds, risks, refinement of data, dependent and independent variables, absolute and relative differences, bias, inductive and deductive reasoning, elaboration of associations, causal processes, and epidemiological models. And third, attention is directed to the uses that may be made of epidemiological data, by clinicians, practitioners of public health and community medicine, and researchers. A self-test concludes the section.

Keywords:   epidemiological methods, interpretation, data interpretation, artifactual associations, confounding, modifying factors, causal associations, epidemiological terms, epidemiological models, practical applications

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