Ecological Study

Learning Objectives

A. Learn to apply the main features of ecological studies:

  1. Formulate a research hypothesis
  2. Explain the difference between individual and group-level characteristics
  3. Define the source population for the study
  4. Describe possible sources of information for ecological studies

B. Employ steps in data analysis of ecologic studies to analyze the data:

  1. Calculate incidence proportions based on simple counts
  2. Plot incidence against exposure and interpret your plots

C. Explain your findings and discuss potential problems in your data analysis:

  1. Define and explain what is meant by the ecologic fallacy
  2. Describe ecological studies in terms of validity, cost-effectiveness, time requirements and ability to estimate measures of effect
  3. Describe ecological studies in comparison with cohort and case-control studies.