From Case Investigation to the Case-Control Method: Information for Decision Making
This chapter explains first why the use of epidemiology for decision making in the health professions makes the discipline an information science. As a first step, case investigation is presented as an approach where health problems are addressed and information is generated for both the clinician and the epidemiologist. The uses of case investigation and the study of a series of cases are presented as an initial step where some hypotheses may be developed based on a number of observations from within the clinical environment. However, the inferential limitations of these approaches make it imperative for the epidemiologist to develop investigations with controlled comparisons such as the case-control, cohort, or experimental trials. The historical developments leading to controlled comparisons are presented as the last part of this chapter.
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