Experimental epidemiology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Experimental epidemiology is a type of epidemiological investigation that uses an experimental model to confirm a causal relationship suggested by observational studies. It studies the relationships of various factors determining the frequency and distribution of diseases in a community.[1][2]

Case types[edit]

There are three case types in experimental epidemiology: randomized controlled trial, typically used for new medicine or drug testing; field trial, which is conducted on those at high risk of contracting a disease; and community trial, in which research is conducted on an entire community or neighborhood.[1] Randomized controlled trial determines the efficacy of a particular treatment, while other trials may be preventive intervention.[3]


Experimental epidemiology employs prospective population experiments designed to test epidemiological hypotheses, and usually attempts to relate the postulated cause to the observed effect. Trials of new anthelmintics are an example.[1] Intervention or experimentation involves attempting to change a variable in one or more groups of people. This could mean eliminating a dietary factor thought to cause allergy, or testing a new treatment on a selected group of patients. The effects of an intervention are measured by comparing the result in the experimental group with that in a control group.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Epidemiology and Public Health". courses.lumenlearning.com. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. ^ "experimental epidemiology". medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  3. ^ Ahrens, Wolfgang; Pigeot, Iris (2007-07-26). Handbook of Epidemiology. Springer. p. 7. ISBN 9783540265771.
  4. ^ Bonita, R.; Beaglehole, R.; Kjellström, Tord. "Basic Epidemiology". Retrieved 23 March 2018.