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Lecture 13

PUBHLTH 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Ecological Fallacy, Recall Bias


Department
Public Health
Course Code
PUBHLTH 101
Professor
David Timberlake
Lecture
13

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LEC 13
ECOLOGICAL STUDIES:
Concept and design
Variables in ecological studies
Different types
Ecological effect, individual effect, ecological fallacy
Advantages vs Disadvantages
Advantages:
1. Easy, quick, inexpensive
2. Valuable when some measurements cannot be made on individuals
3. Ecologic effects are the main interest (at the population level)
4. Simplicity of analyses and presentation
5. Useful for generating hypothesis for further research
Disadvantages:
1. Cannot adjust well for confounding due to lack of data on all potential covariates
2. Lack of adequate data and missing data
3. Within group misclassification
4. Ecological fallacy: inferences on ecologic studies made using group-level data may not
always be correct on the individual level
CROSS SECTIONAL STUDIES
Can measure prevalence of disease
Advantages:
1. Fewer resources requires
2. Short term, simple, easily controlled
3. Less statistical analysis
4. Provide prevalence information
5. Data is useful for planning of health services and medical programs
Disadvantages:
1. Represent only those who are surveyed
2. Only measure prevalence, not incidence
3. Show association w/ pre - not risk of future prognosis
4. Not too effective if disease levels are low
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