Study Design Types

Cross Sectional Surveys

  • Reports the prevelance of a feature of interest or frequencies of variables
  • Observational
  • Quantitative 
  • Descriptive

Appropriate research questions for surveys

  • What is the problem?
  • What is the magnitude of the problem?
  • Who is affected?
  • How do people behave?
  • What do they think / what are their attitudes?
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Ecological Studies

  • Analytical
  • Quantitative
  • Observational
  • Population analysis - compares populations rather than individuals

Appropriate research questions for comparative surveys:

  • What is the magnitude of the problem?
  • What is the disease prevalence?
  • What is the association between disease outcome and demographic profile for the population?
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Comparative Cross Sectional Surveys

  • Quantitative
  • Analytical
  • Observational
  • Random sample drawn to represent population
  • Shows association and relationships between variables

Appropriate research questions for comparative surveys:

  • What is the magnitude of the problem?
  • What is the disease prevalence?
  • What are the risk factors?
  • Are risk factors associated with outcomes?
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Case Control Studies

  • Groups are assembled where differences are known
  • Compares group who exibit an effect with a group who do not
  • Identifies possible causes of exposure
  • Quantitative
  • Analytical
  • Observational

Appropriate research questions for cohort studies

  • What is the strength of association between risk factor & outcome?
  • Does exposure to a suspected risk-factor differ between cases & controls?
  • What might be the possible cause of a rare disease?
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Cohort Studies

  • Longitudinal 
  • Looks a people without a disease who have different levels of exposure for a disease
  • Regular check-ins to see if disease has emerged/ any effects
  • Association between variables can be measured using odds ratio and risk ratio
  • Quantitative
  • Analytical
  • Observational

Appropriate research questions for cohort studies

  • What is the relative risk?
  • What is the prevalence?
  • What is the association between risk factor & outcome?
  • What is the true estimate of incidence?
  • What is the inferred causeof the disease?
  • What s the temporal association between suspected cause and outcome?
  • How does changing diet affect the progression of a disease (survival study)?
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Survival Analysis

  • Quantitative
  • Analytical
  • Observational
  • An analysis focusing on time duration until an event such as death or infection occurs.
  • It is usually fundamental to many cohort and randomised controlled trials.
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Nested Case Control Studies

  • Starts with a cohort study where a base line is developed
  • Disease cases are then selected for the case control study
  • The controls are drawn from the cohort population who did not develop the disease
  • Analytical
  • Quantitative
  • Observational
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Case Cohort Studies

  • Analytical
  • Quantitative
  • Observational
  • A common comparison sample that is a random selection of the source population (cohort), and multiple case groups, which allows efficient testing of multiple health outcomes
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Randomised Control Trials

  • Quantitative
  • Experimental/ intervention
  • Randomly assigns participants to control and intervention groups
  • Patients, Nurses, and Investigators are 'blind'

Appropriate research questions for RCTs

  • What is the effect of the therapy, intervention?
  • What are the causes?
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Qualitative Studies

  • Framework Approach - Staged to analyse qual data
  • Ethnographic Study - Detailed and systematic observations of cultural groups
  • Grounded Theory Study - Prioritise phenomena and resulting theory as grounded in the data collected
  • Phenomenological Study - Detailed descriptions of events and how they impacted the individual
  • Phenomenographic Study - Focuses on ways individuals experience events
  • Participatory Research Study - Participants test their own interventions
  • Case Study - Rich, detailed examination of groups of people or an organisation
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Systematic Reviews

  • Analysis of data and research already published
  • Gathers all evidence available
  • Focuses on a specific research question
  • Show research effectivness
  • Prevents unncessary repeating of research
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