Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Robert Bednarczyk & Louise-Anne McNutt
Many analyses of epidemiologic data are conducted using statistical methods common to other research fields, including the social and biologic sciences. In epidemiologic studies, however, the focus of the research question, and thus the methods used to study this question, tend to differ. The combination of human, social, environmental, and biological factors that may be present in epidemiologic studies can lead to a complexity not seen in large randomized trials or when the environment can be controlled. This entry discusses regression methods used in epidemiology and the conceptual framework that underlies these methods. Epidemiologic research questions tend to fall into two general categories: (1) What factors best explain or predict the occurrence of another factor (or outcome)? (2) What is the association between exposure(s) and outcome(s)? The analytic methods used for these research questions are known as predictive or associative, respectively. Regression analysis is used for both analysis of prediction ...