This document provides an overview of the design aspects, types, strengths and limitations, and applicable methods for case-control studies.
In a case-control study, the study group is defined by the outcome (e.g., presence of a disease), not by exposure to a risk factor. Case-control studies are observational because no intervention is attempted, and no attempt is made to alter the course of the disease. The study starts with identifying a group of cases (individuals with a particular health outcome) in a given population and a group of controls (individuals without the health outcome) under investigation. The prevalence of exposure to a potential risk factor is then compared between cases and controls. If the prevalence of exposure is more common among cases than controls, the exposure may be a risk factor for the outcome under investigation.
Case-control studies are used to retrospectively determine the exposure to the risk factor of interest from each of the two groups of individuals: cases and controls. These type of studies are especially beneficial for the study of rare conditions.
This document summarises key design aspects for case-control studies, a vital component of epidemiological and observational clinical research. The document begins with a definition of case-control studies and an overview of fundamental characteristics. Next, it explores different types of case-control studies, strengths and limitations, and applicable methods for different stages of design, conduct, analysis, and reporting.
3. Types of Case-Control Studies
4. Strengths & Limitations
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