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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 263
Type: Roundtables
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 : 7:00 AM to 8:15 AM
Sponsor: Section on Teaching of Statistics in the Health Sciences
Abstract - #305179
Title: Observational Studies and Epidemiological Thinking: Interpreting Health Studies Based on Observational Data
Author(s): Jareen Meinzen-Derr*+
Companies: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Address: 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH, 45229-3039, United States
Keywords: epidemiology ; observational ; interpretation

A majority of the articles in high impact clinical journals, such as JAMA and Lancet, are based on observational studies. These observational studies involve the best data available on a variety of cutting-edge topics. Yet a recent article in Significance magazine claims that "Any claim coming from an observational study is most likely to be wrong." Given that not all studies can lend themselves to a controlled clinical trial, how should health-science students be taught about health findings based on observational data? The objectives of this roundtable will be to 1) discuss major accomplishments of sound observational studies, 2) how results of such studies have been interpreted, and 3) how and why these interpretations may change in light of randomized controlled trials.

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