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May 1998

Case-Control Designs for Clinical Research in Ophthalmology

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(5):661-664. doi:10.1001/archopht.116.5.661

PUBLICATIONS FROM the Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group during the past 5 years16 have focused attention on the case-control design for clinical research in ophthalmology. However, case-control studies of eye and vision disorders did not originate with the Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group. Reports from case-control studies of varying size and quality have been published in the ophthalmologic and epidemiologic literature for more than 30 years.718 As noted by Seigel19 in an editorial published in the ARCHIVES almost 10 years ago, the case-control design is particularly suitable for research conducted within a clinical practice. Before embarking on a case-control study, the ophthalmologist should understand its principles and appropriate data analyses. This article describes design characteristics of case-control studies and calls attention to benefits as well as to potential pitfalls of this research design, particularly when conducted within the clinical setting.

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