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Research Methods in Healthcare Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Stewardship—Observational Studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 June 2016

Graham M. Snyder*
Affiliation:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
Heather Young
Affiliation:
Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, Colorado
Meera Varman
Affiliation:
Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska
Aaron M. Milstone
Affiliation:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland
Anthony D. Harris
Affiliation:
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore, Maryland
Silvia Munoz-Price
Affiliation:
Institute for Health and Society and Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
*
Address correspondence to Graham Snyder, Mailstop SL-435, 330 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (gsnyder@bidmc.harvard.edu).

Abstract

Observational studies compare outcomes among subjects with and without an exposure of interest, without intervention from study investigators. Observational studies can be designed as a prospective or retrospective cohort study or as a case-control study. In healthcare epidemiology, these observational studies often take advantage of existing healthcare databases, making them more cost-effective than clinical trials and allowing analyses of rare outcomes. This paper addresses the importance of selecting a well-defined study population, highlights key considerations for study design, and offers potential solutions including biostatistical tools that are applicable to observational study designs.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2016;1–6

Type
SHEA White Papers
Copyright
© 2016 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved 

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