Designing an observational or epidemiological study
Monday, 3 August (Melbourne City Centre) 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
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.
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.
Liliana Orellana, PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics