Assessing Scientific Data: The Case-Control Study As It Applies to Dermatology Part 1: The Case-Control Method


Helen J. Heacock* and Jason K. Rivers

Critical Appraisal Reviews will cover various topics in epidemiology and biostatistics that will be useful to the practicing physician in understanding and interpreting published studies on skin disease topics. No statistical background is assumed.

Abstract

Background: Epidemiology is integral to medical research. To keep abreast of medical advances related to the specialty, dermatologists need a sound understanding of epidemiologic principles.

Objective: The purpose of this article is to introduce the case-control study design in the context of dermatology. Topics covered include subject selection, exposure assessment, and data analysis.

Conclusion: The case-control design is applicable to dermatology research. This method is especially relevant for rare diseases or those with a long latency period.

Sommaire

Antécédents: L'épidémiologie fait partie intégrante de la recherche médicale. Pour demeurer à la fine pointe des plus récentes réalisations dans leur spécialité, les dermatologues doivent bien comprendre les principes de l'épidémiologie.

Objectif: Le but de cet article est de présenter le modèle d'étude de contrôle de cas dans le contexte de la dermatologie. Parmi les points traités, citons le choix du sujet, l'évaluation de l'exposition et l'analyse de données.

Conclusion: méthode de contrôle de cas s'applique à la recherche dermatologique. Cette méthode est particulièrement pertinente dans le cas de maladies rares ou de maladies ayant une longue période de latence.

Received 9/10/96. Accepted for publication 11/6/96.

From *The Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, and Division of Dermatology, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, University of British Columbia, and **British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada

This work was supported in part by a grant from the British Columbia Health Research Foundation.

Reprint requests: Jason K. Rivers, MD, FRCPC, Division of Dermatology, The Skin Care Centre, 835 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4E8, Canada

Full text available in the print edition / Pour le texte intégral veuillez consulter la version imprimée.


JCMS 1(3) Contents