Monday, 1 September 2014

Study finds a simple method to correct errors between exposure and outcome in epidemiological studies

According to a recent study co authored by SPHPM's Dr Michael Fahey and Prof Andrew Forbes, an important goal of many epidemiological studies is to estimate the magnitude of association between an exposure and an outcome. 

The study shows how a simple hand calculation, in conjunction with validation study data and a calibration equation, can be used to correct estimates for the bias caused by exposure measurement error. Correcting estimates of association for measurement error helps researchers appropriately assess effect size.

This study is important because almost all of the School's research involves measuring an exposure and all exposures are measured with error. The amount of error and its effect on research conclusions is substantial when the exposure is self-reported, for example, in a questionnaire or interview. The publication is useful because it shows how a simple method can be used to correct the effects of measurement error.

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