Skip Navigation LinksHome > December 2010 - Volume 126 - Issue 6 > Observational Studies: Cohort and Case-Control Studies
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181f44abc
Special Topics: EBM Special Topic/Outcomes Article

Observational Studies: Cohort and Case-Control Studies

Song, Jae W. M.D.; Chung, Kevin C. M.D., M.S.

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Summary: Observational studies constitute an important category of study designs. To address some investigative questions in plastic surgery, randomized controlled trials are not always indicated or ethical to conduct. Instead, observational studies may be the next best method of addressing these types of questions. Well-designed observational studies have been shown to provide results similar to those of randomized controlled trials, challenging the belief that observational studies are second rate. Cohort studies and case-control studies are two primary types of observational studies that aid in evaluating associations between diseases and exposures. In this review article, the authors describe these study designs and methodologic issues, and provide examples from the plastic surgery literature.

©2010American Society of Plastic Surgeons


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