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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Research Strategies.docx

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Health Sciences
Tony Bogaert

CHSC 2P49 – Research Strategies Lecture 2 - September 11/13 1. Case Study  Study single individual/group  Detail, depth, and richness  Often multiple techniques (interview, observation…)  Often qualitative  Many case studies are done in health and medicine  New or rare conditions that we need information on  E.g. Laughter reduces illness? - Improve blood pressure/immune system/pain killer - “Norman Cousins” suffered from painful collagen disease - Belly laughter improved health? Launched further studies 2. Correlational Studies (Surveys)  Study groups of people  Do variables “go together” or “vary together”  E.g. Health behaviors, surveyed 7000 CAL residents - Defined 7 health habits (sleep, exercise, smoke) - Asked residents to list which behaviors practiced and then given “health habit score” - Listed number, type of illness, missed work; then given a “health score” - Results: more health habits, more healthy - Followed up 9 ½ years later (Prospective study) - Did health habits correlate with mortality? Yes, men 28%, women 48%  E.g. Sexual behavior and health - 2400 men in Welsh town - Asked how often they had sex per week - Men followed up for 10 years - Results: More sex, fewer heart attacks - Sex 3x per week, ½ likely to have heart attack  Advantages - Naturalness of situation maintained - Some variables can’t be experimented upon (ethics) - E.g. high stress, power failure - Study of New York 1965, scientists studied standard people (e.g. bus terminal) - Studied stress and birth order - Measured stress and observed interactions with others - Results: First born > stress/anxiety  Disadvantages - No cause, effect (doesn’t tell you what causes what) - 3 Possibilities... 1) Sex -> heart health 2) Heart health -> sex 3) Third unknown variable causing both 3. Experimentation  Typically studies groups  Unlike correlation allows us to see cause/effect  Change/manipulate variables  Variable varied (potential cause) – Independent variable  Variable observed (potential effect) – Dependent variable  Control variable that might affect dependent  E.g. Clinical Trials - Independent-> drug, Dependent -> change, Control-> Placebo  E.g. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) - Hypothesis: Diet program causes better eating and lowers cholesterol - 12,000 high risk men 37-57 - Half men randomly assigned to experiment group and received diet counseling -
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