Suppose that you have been hired by university student health services to design a case-control study to assess the following hypothesis among undergraduate students: Irregular sleep patterns increase

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Suppose that you have been hired by university student health services to

design a case-control study

to assess the following hypothesis among undergraduate students:

Irregular sleep patterns increase the risk of headaches.Be sure that your design addresses the following elements:

  • Refine the study hypothesis so that it is as specific as possible and contains all elements of a “good” hypothesis.
  • How will you identify and define the cases?

    • Are there any exclusion criteria that you would apply?
  • How will you sample from the underlying population for your “controls”?
  • Who will you select as controls?
  • How will you select them?
  • How will you define the exposure of interest?

    • How will you collect the information on exposure?
  • What other information do you want to know about participants that may be related to the exposure of interest and/or the outcome (potential confounders)? Of these, what will you be able to collect and what will you be unable to collect?
  • Which measures of disease frequency and association will you calculate?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of your study?

    • Which limitations could be removed by using a different study design?
  • What other information would you like to know to design this study?

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