Overview of Observational Research
What are key principles of observational studies?
- An observational study is the most common type of study in health research.
- In an observational study, the researcher does not make any intervention, they only observe the participants’ exposure and outcomes in natural situations.
- Observational study is the choice of study in medical science when there is an ethical issues in Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT).
Helpful Links, Videos and Online Courses
- Introduction – Observational Studies in a Learning Health System
- This workshop summary focused on basic introduction of observational studies design in health care.
- Types of Observational Studies in Medical Research
- An article from Research Gate that introduces various types of observational studies and the importance of observational studies in medical science. (Note: viewers do not need to create a ResearchGate account to access the article. Download as a PDF or view for free.)
- Observational Studies
- A 5-minute video from the Health Research Group that clarifies the different kinds of observational studies. Useful for beginner researchers as it focused on basic concepts of observational studies.
- Understanding Observational Research
- A very short, two-minute introduction from the National Pharmaceutical Council that provides comprehensive understanding and importance of observational studies from an expert.
- Medical Statistics – Part 7: Odds Ratios and Relative Risk in Observational Studies
- A statistical overview of observational studies with various examples
- Introduction to Observational Studies
- A series of videos on statistical models and measures, including those used for observational research, are available with free access through this program from Bristol University.
- Thomas, J., Liew, D. & Hopper, I. (2018). Observational studies and their utility for practice. Australian Prescriber, 41(3): 82-85.
- Gail, M. H., Altman, D. G., Cadarette, S. M., Collins, G., Evans, S. J. W., Sekula, P., Williamson, E., & Woodward, M. (2019). Design choices for observational studies of the effect of exposure on disease incidence. British Medical Journal, Open. e031031.
- Lao, K. S. J., Chui, C. S. L., Man, K. K. C., Lau, W. C. Y., Chan, E. W. & Wong, I. C. K. (2016). Medication safety research by observational study design. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 38: 676–684.
- Mann, C.J. (2012). Observational research methods-Cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, and case-control studies. African Journal of Emergency Medicine 2(1): 38-46.