Designing an observational or epidemiological study

Tuesday 18 October, 9:00am-5:00pm
Registration opens: Tuesday 4 October, 10am

Burwood Corporate Centre, Deakin Burwood Campus

A sound study design is of vital importance when conducting your research. Choices made at the design stage will drastically impact the results of your study.  A design that has been thought through to the last detail and it is perfectly aligned with your research aims will have a better chance of producing useful evidence.

Studies in which the researcher has not assigned the intervention to the individuals are called Observational Studies. The workshop will present the main considerations in designing studies aimed at: describing the prevalence of health problems, identifying causes of health problems, or evaluating interventions. The main four types of epidemiological studies will be presented: cohort, case-control, cross-sectional and ecologic studies. The role of sampling error, bias and confounding on the study conclusions will be discussed.

We will describe strategies for minimizing the impact of these three sources of errors at 1) the study design stage, 2) when conducting the study and 3) at the data analysis stage.

We will compare the relative merits of each type of study design as applied to a particular research purpose. We will discuss the strategic factors to be considered when choosing an appropriate design by using real study examples.

During the afternoon we will discuss real research questions posed by some of the participants. Those participants who want to volunteer will have the opportunity to present their research question and their proposed study designs.  Strength, weakness and feasibility of these case studies will be discussed.

Who should attend?

PhD students and early career researchers within the Faculty of Health planning to conduct observational studies in order to answer their research questions.

Workshop participant numbers are capped to allow for discussion and interaction.   We expect a high demand for these workshops therefore we strongly encourage registration ONLY if you can attend.  We do understand that unforeseen circumstances occur which can prevent attendance, and in that case we ask that you cancel your registration AS A PRIORITY so that places can be filled by other interested candidates.

Presented by

Liliana Orellana, PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics


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