Part II: Observational Studies


  • Patricia Aikins Murphy CNM, MS,

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    • Patricia Aikins Murphy, CNM, MS, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing (Nurse-Midwifery) at Columbia University. She graduated from that program in 1979. She is a doctoral candidate in public health (epidemiology) in the Columbia University School of Public Health. Her research interests include perinatal and women's health issues, as well as the application of epidemiologic principles to clinical practice

  • Leah L. Albers CNM, DrPH

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    • Leah L. Albers, CNM, DrPH, received her nursing degrees from Vanderbilt University (B.S.N. 1971, and M.S.N. 1974). She studied nurse-midwifery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (1977). She was in full-scope practice for 11 years and then completed the Dr.P.H. degree at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in 1990. Currently she is an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing, where she is engaged in practice, teaching, and research

Columbia University School of Nursing, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032


Clinical practice is often based on the results of research. Critical evaluation of research studies is important if appropriate conclusions are to be drawn. In this series of columns, we review principles of research methodology and statistical analysis. Our intent is to assist certified nurse-midwives in understanding the relative merits of the research they read and use. This paper, the second of the series, will review issues pertinent to observational study design.