June 26, 2022
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Category - Cohort Studies

Cohort Studies is a study design where one or more people (called cohorts) are being followed and have a subsequent status evaluation with respect to a disease or outcome that is conducted to determine which participants’ exposure characteristics (risk factors) are associated. As the study is being conducted, the outcome from participants in each cohort is measured and the relationships with specific characteristics determined.

Cohort Study facts:

Cohort studies are usually observed in large groups and are recording their exposure to certain risk factors to find clues as to the possible causes of disease.
They can be prospective studies that gather data by going forward, or retrospective cohort studies, which look at data that is already collected.
This type of research can also help identify social factors that influence a person’s health.

The fundamentals of a cohort study are:

a. To identify people who are free of disease at the beginning of the study
b. Assemble cohorts of exposed and unexposed individuals
c. Following cohorts for the development of incident outcomes
d. Compare the risks of incident outcomes in each cohort

Advantages: The advantages that these cohorts studies have:

Are cheaper & easier than a randomized controlled trial (RCT)
Standardization of criteria/outcome is possible
Subjects can be matched, which limits the influence of confounding variables

Disadvantages: The disadvantage that cohort studies have are:

They can be difficult to identify from confounding variables
There is no randomization, which means that imbalances could exist
Blinding/Masking is difficult
The outcome of interest can take a long time to occur


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