• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Volunteer Effect

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

The volunteer effect is a form of selection bias, sometimes referred to as self-selection or volunteer bias. This phenomenon is based on the idea that individuals who volunteer to participate in epidemiological studies are different in some way from the target population that they have originated from. The result of this effect is that the resulting measure between exposure and disease is distorted.

The selection of the study population is a critical part of any epidemiological study. One of the methods of selecting individuals is to recruit volunteer participants from the target population. However, the main risk in this method is that this subset of the population differs in some way from the general population. It has been suggested that individuals who volunteer to participate in ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles