Nearly every day, public health studies appear in the media. The studies often include epidemiological research. The type of study design used in an epidemiological study can have a profound impact on how the study results are analyzed, interpreted, and reported. Common study designs include case control, cohort, cross-sectional, and community intervention trials.
Based on media descriptions of the research, however, facts about the issue under study may appear less than obvious. Media reports may sensationalize results and overstate outcomes. Someone familiar with epidemiological methodology may note a lack of detail in mass media reports of research findings compared to articles published in peer-reviewed journals.
For this Discussion, locate a mass media article published within the last 3 months that describes findings of an epidemiological study using one of the following study designs: case control, cohort, cross-sectional, or community intervention trial. Be sure that the article is about an epidemiological study and not another area of public health. In addition, locate the peer-reviewed research article that the mass media report is based on.
By Day 3
Post a (2 page, 3-4 References, APA format) summary of the study you found and include the citations for both the mass media and the peer-reviewed articles. Explain what epidemiological concepts are included in the mass media article (e.g., measures of association, study design, confounders, and bias) and how they compare to those in the peer-reviewed article. Describe any obvious omissions from the mass media article that epidemiologists critiquing the study would need to know. Finally, give your assessment of how well the mass media article represented the actual research that was conducted.