This is a primary, comprehensive textbook for people who are considering undertaking a piece of health-related research. It is an accessible companion with the aim of getting the reader to think broadly about all of the issues that need to be considered when embarking on a project. This is a pragmatic book, a step-by-step guide to research which mirrors the structure of a research project, taking you through the thought process for designing and conducting your study from formulating the right research question at idea inception, ascertaining what methodologies and analysis can answer what type of questions, right through to dissemination, all presented in an easy, digestible style. The book is full of case study illustrations and practical tips such as how to work out a research budget and obtaining funding for your project, discussion of what permissions need to obtained when conducting research with people, and how to involve public and patients. The authors are all experienced researchers and so this book is an accumulation of collective wisdom on common research challenges and issues.
Chapter 10: Epidemiology
- Recognise the scope and application of epidemiology in health services research
- Recognise the strengths and limitations of various epidemiological study designs
- Choose an appropriate epidemiological study design for your research question and context
- Be able to apply appropriate causal inference principles in interpreting epidemiological study findings
Epidemiology studies the distribution (time, place and population), and determinants (physical, biological, social, cultural, economic and behavioural) of health-related states or events. This knowledge is then used to control the problem by allowing us to understand the cause, effect and distribution of diseases and therefore is the basis for public health, including informing policy decisions. Indeed, you have epidemiology to thank for the control of polio and typhoid and the total eradication of smallpox, which was ...