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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(1), 29-45; doi:10.3390/ijerph7010029

Epidemiological Methods: About Time

1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 1116 Forest Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA 2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Received: 29 October 2009 / Accepted: 24 December 2009 / Published: 31 December 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
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Epidemiological studies often produce false positive results due to use of statistical approaches that either ignore or distort time. The three time-related issues of focus in this discussion are: (1) cross-sectional vs. cohort studies, (2) statistical significance vs. public health significance, and (3), how risk factors "work together" to impact public health significance. The issue of time should be central to all thinking in epidemiology research, affecting sampling, measurement, design, analysis and, perhaps most important, the interpretation of results that might influence clinical and public-health decision-making and subsequent clinical research.
Keywords: risk factors; statistical and clinical significance; effect sizes; moderators; mediators risk factors; statistical and clinical significance; effect sizes; moderators; mediators
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kraemer, H.C. Epidemiological Methods: About Time. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 29-45.

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