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January 23, 1978

A Model for Epidemiologic Research

Author Affiliations

From the Epidemiology Program of the School of Public Health, Graduate College (Drs Doege and Gelfand), and the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine of the College of Medicine (Dr Doege), University of Illinois at the Medical Center, Chicago.

JAMA. 1978;239(4):328-330. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280310060020

Health sciences students should understand the fundamentals of epidemiologic methods that can lead to major advances in the treatment of disease. To this end, the research process is defined and a three-dimensional model that considers some basic elements of epidemiologic research—time, place, and strategy—is described. The strategies available to the investigator (descriptive, analytic, and experimental) and the possible time frames (retrospective, concurrent, and prospective) are illustrated in terms of field investigations that involve problems of infection, nutrition, dysplasia, metabolism, and cancer. It is believed that epidemiologic studies, no matter where they are performed, have certain features in common, especially those related to the elements of strategy and time.

(JAMA 239:328-330, 1978)