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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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Causes and Effects

Causes and Effects

(p.233) Section E Causes and Effects
Making Sense of Data

J. H. Abramson

Z. H. Abramson

Oxford University Press

The exercises in this section cover the kinds of epidemiological study used to investigate causal processes, criteria for the appraisal of causal associations, and ways of measuring the impact of causal factors. Cross-sectional, case-control, cohort, and ecologic studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments are defined, and the appraisal of results from each kind of study is considered separately, with special reference to the measures of association that are used, sources of bias, confounding, and the study's external validity. Specific topics include methods of appraising and coping with confounding, of weighing evidence for a causal relationship, and of assessing the attributable fraction and other measures of the impact of a causal factor. A self-test concludes the section.

Keywords:   causality, cross-sectional studies, case-control studies, cohort studies, ecological studies, experiments, quasi-experiments, attributable fraction, preventable fraction, measures of association

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