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RUSVM Epi Summer 17 > Bias and Confounding > Flashcards

Flashcards in Bias and Confounding Deck (35)
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What kind of error is due to bias?



Is there a formal way to deal with systematic error?



What is validity in epidemiological context?

Relates to the absence of systematic error in a study result

*a valid measure of association in a study will have the same value as the true measure in the source population, except for error due to random variation


What is bias in the context of epidemiological studies?

The extent to which a measure of association from a study differs from the true measure of association in the source population
**only for differences due to systematic error


T/F: Systematic error can make a study result biased


systematic error
causes bias


Bias causes a study to be _______



T/F: Random error can make a result biased


just makes the study wrong


What does it mean when a study value is accurate?

The study was free from bias and is valid


Can you determine whether a study has a systematic error when results are inaccurate the first time the study is run?


systemic errors are repeatable - so on the first go at the study - you can't determine whether your error is random or systematic


Will random errors result in inaccurate values that are far off from expected or close to expected?

Far off or close

Random errors can be large or small: the key is - each value will differ greatly (making it non repeatable and unbiased)


When you perform a study multiple times, and get values that are far from expected, but similar values each time, what kind of error(s) do you have?

Systematic - since the study repeatedly failed in the same way

*random error (in this case small) because the values were not exactly identical


What will ensure validity in epidemiological studies?

Proper study design


What is internal validity?

The study result is valid with respect to the population under study


What is external validity?

The study result is valid to a wider population.. beyond the study population and or source population

aka generalizability


Example study: assessing associations between risk factors and lymphoma in a sample of GR without lymphoma in Maine..

The study may be ____ valid if the study association was true

But may note be ____ invalid for other breeds, or for dogs in different populations/locations

internally valid (within the study population)

externally invalid (within all populations)


What is the study population, source population, and other populations, in the context of epi studies?

Study pop = the subjects in the study

Source pop = population from which the subjects were drawn

Other pop = target populations ---> populations to which we may want to generalize our results


____ causes the measure of association estimated from the study population to be different from the true measure of association in the source population


**bias causes the study results to be different from those that truly exist in the source population


What is a non-differential bias?

A bias that equally affects the study groups
*diseased and non-diseased are equally biased
*exposed and non-exposed are equally biased


What is a differential bias?

A bias that affects one group more than another


Data from a study:

In the source population: OR = 2
-the true proportion of the dz cases with exposure was 20%
-the true proportion of controls with exposure was 10%

In the sample collected from the study: )R = 2
-the dz cases had 10% with the exposure
-the controls has 5% with exposure

Is this differential bias or non-differential bias?

Non differential

The bias was a 50% reduction in the proportion exposed in both the dz cases and the control populations


Two general sources of bias are ____ bias and _____ bis

Selection bias: error in selection of study subjects (the sample is different from the population)

Information bias: error in measurement (measure things with error or incorrectly) aka misclassification bias


Besides bias, what can contribute to systematic errors?

Confounding - an unknown factor distorts the relationship between the exposure and outcome


What does selection bias usually result from?

From groups being selected for the study not coming from the complete source population


T/F: Most veterinary observational studies have selection bias


This is because samples are collected from convenient locations that provide easy access to animals

Ex: veterinary clinics, abattoirs, shelters (these don't represent entire animal populations)


How do you reduce selection bias in a cross sectional study?

Random samples: identify all the individuals in the target population and randomly sample them


How do you reduce selection bias in case control studies?

Matching - ensure that controls have similar demographics, age, breed, gender, etc as cases


How do you reduce selection biased in cohort studies?

Matching: ensure that exposed and non exposed have similar demographics


What are some examples of selection bias?

1. self selection bias - studies based upon volunteers

2. Healthy worker effect: studies or working people or working animals -who are healthier than the population as a whole

3. Diagnostic bias: diagnosis of a dz may be influenced by their knowledge of the exposure and dz (this can be reduced by having a clear, well defined case definition)


What will reduce information bias in cross sectional descriptive studies?

evaluate the accuracy of measuring tools and adjust your estimates to reflect the error

**error in measurement of dz in the sample may result in the prevalence estimate in the sample being different than the true prevalence of in the target population


If there is informational bias in a case control study, what will be affected?

The association will be bias

Ex: in a case control study, owners of sick pets (cases) are more likely to remember exposures than owners of healthy pets (controls)