In any epidemiological study, the design and methodology used should be appropriate for that study. Investigations of infectious diseases, for example, often use dynamic modeling to account for parameters of infectiousness and transmission. Dynamic modeling accounts for the fact that people may move in and out of an infectious state—that is, their disease status may change over a short period of time. Conversely, as a method of assessing chronic disease risks, epidemiologists consider factors that occur over the life course.
It is important for public health professionals to understand the strengths and limitations of these study designs and methods. This gives them a better chance of correctly interpreting results and synthesizing them for use in developing and implementing evidence-based public health programs.
For this Discussion, you explore the application of various special study designs. Review two of the following articles, with a critical eye toward the researchers’ use of their selected methods:
Post a brief description of the two studies you selected, with a particular focus on the study design and analysis methods they used. Describe at least one strength and one limitation of each study’s design and/or methodological approach for the research questions it addressed. Identify any measures that the authors used to minimize the limitation. Finally, share your insights about the value of the special study designs used in terms of advancing epidemiological knowledge.