1. Introduction to Epidemiologic Research Methods

  1. Ming T. Tsuang2,3,
  2. Mauricio Tohen4,5 and
  3. Peter B. Jones6
  1. Glyn Lewis

Published Online: 14 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470976739.ch1

Textbook of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Third Edition

Textbook of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Third Edition

How to Cite

Lewis, G. (2011) Introduction to Epidemiologic Research Methods, in Textbook of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Third Edition (eds M. T. Tsuang, M. Tohen and P. B. Jones), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470976739.ch1

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Center for Behavioral Genomics, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla CA 92039, USA

  2. 3

    Harvard Institute of Psychiatric Epidemiology & Genetics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA

  3. 4

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio, USA

  4. 5

    Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7526 Louis Pasteur Drive, San Antonio TX 78229-3900, USA

  5. 6

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Box 189, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK

Author Information

  1. Academic Unit of Psychiatry, University of Bristol, Cotham House, Cotham Hill, Bristol BS6 6JL, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470694671

Online ISBN: 9780470976739

SEARCH

Keywords:

  • psychiatric epidemiology;
  • chance;
  • confounding;
  • causation;
  • bias

Summary

Epidemiology has a variety of definitions but is distinct from other medical research in being interested in public health as well as individual health and being more concerned with causation. Psychiatric epidemiology has developed alongside advances in non-infectious disease epidemiology. Good psychiatric epidemiology should be similar to good clinical psychiatry and requires a biopsychosocial approach. To infer causation, the investigator needs to consider alternative explanations for an observed association. The role of chance, confounding, bias and reverse causation are briefly described with some examples from the psychiatric literature.