Disease Detectives

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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby herewegoagain365 » April 10th, 2009, 3:24 pm

pjgscioisamazing wrote:Now how exactly can you tell teh difference between a case-control and a cohort study?

This is an awesome site that pretty much outlines all the study designs, and also all their pros and cons. It's written for about 5th/6th-grade level, but it has TONS of helpful info.
http://www.montclair.edu/Detectives/curriculum/docs/2.8.ppt.pdf

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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby srsvball95 » April 10th, 2009, 3:40 pm

pjgscioisamazing wrote:Now how exactly can you tell teh difference between a case-control and a cohort study?


A case-control study is trying to find the cause/effect of something. For example, a case-control study could be when disease detectives are trying to find out why many people have lung cancer and most of them have past records of smoking. That is a cause/effect relationship.
Also, the scenario will be a case-control study if it says, "The cases" or "The controls" when describing the situtation.

Here is a case-control study taken from one of my tests:

Disease detectives considered the following products as possible sources of exposure: syrup-based medications, skin creams, herbal remedies, bath products, and tonics. Samples were analyzed by the CDC Environmental Health laboratory. Diethylene glycol, or DEG was detected in the syrups. Disease detectives began a study to identify which of the syrup medications was the cause of the outbreak. They talked to families of the children with renal failure, and with families of children who had been in the hospital for other types of illnesses. They asked questions that asked about types of medications used, and how often they were used by the children.

In the above study, you can see how the disease detectives were trying to find a cause/effect relationship. So, it is a case-control study.

A cohort study is when a group of people who share a common characteristic are studied. For example, if a bunch of people were born in November, then they will be part of a Birth cohort.

Here is a cohort study taken from one of my tests:

Disease detectives next conducted a study of 49 well children who have been given pain relief syrup from the contaminated lots. The children were monitored for a mean of 87 days from the last dose of contaminated syrup to determine possible illness from the syrup. All 49 children survived, and none developed signs or symptoms of DEG toxicity. However, some had finding on their lab tests for kidney and liver function that were evidence of sub-clinical toxic effect.

In the above study, the reason it is a cohort study is because:
-They are all well children who had been given pain relief syrup from the contaminated lots.

That is the common characteristic they share. So, it is a cohort study.

Once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy to tell what type of study design the scenario is. One way to practice learning the different study designs would be to look at sample tests and whenever there is a study design question, look at the scenario and answer it.

Also, case-control studies are probably the most commonly used study designs.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby pjgscioisamazing » April 10th, 2009, 3:43 pm

Thank you very much srsvball95!!! :D :D
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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby srsvball95 » April 10th, 2009, 3:46 pm

You're welcome- also, here is a website that has a lot of different study designs and a brief description of what each is:

http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/courses-jmgay ... nSTudy.htm
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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby doctor » April 10th, 2009, 5:39 pm

just a random question
why is disease detectives transfered from study events to lab events?
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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby sadistic_cottoncandy » April 10th, 2009, 6:08 pm

doctor wrote:just a random question
why is disease detectives transfered from study events to lab events?

that's a good question....we don't actually do anything...it's a test like the other study events
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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby sciencerules » April 10th, 2009, 7:36 pm

All in all, there's not much you can do for Disease Detectives. It is hell. Just know the 10 main steps and try your best with the calculations. Don't stress too much, just have fun. This got us third at regionals :)

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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby srsvball95 » April 11th, 2009, 7:24 am

Yeah but vocab is also very important- know the basic few at the very least plus, know how to use the formulas such as Relative Risk, Odds Ratio, Case Fatality, Attack Rate.
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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby sk8lynne » April 11th, 2009, 9:40 am

Yeah, the vocab and math formulas are extremely important!! if you study the training handout and know basically everything in it, you will probably be fine. For disease you have to know everything and you have to be ready for them to ask you anything because the tests are often very specific.
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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby Cpeterson » April 11th, 2009, 9:44 am

This event can really test you on anything. My states test was on prions, specificaly Chronic Wasting Disease in elk. It was totally random, and asked us about the structure of proteins as well as the usual stuff. I really had no idea for a lot of it. Has anyone else run across a random topic like this?

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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby sk8lynne » April 11th, 2009, 9:47 am

yeah i have but i really don't remember the topics. At my regional they asked randomly "Who wrote this case." The answer was John Snow , but at the time we didn't know about him. I thought this and when they asked, "What year was this outbreak?" was really random.
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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby doctor » April 11th, 2009, 10:26 am

i had a question which was like who invented the rabies vaccine?
and we're like ??????????
to ace disease detectives just memorize formulas and vocab and be able to do all of the cases in 50 mins
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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby genius3point14159 » April 17th, 2009, 4:45 pm

yeah they tend to ask the vaccine questions a lot...


by the way does anybody have a good simple definition for
- analytical study
- descriptive study
- attack rate

thanks soo much :D cause websites always have definitions that have so many long words and.. they just confuse me like crazy... :oops:
Fossils...DiseaseDetectives...ShockValue...ComputeThis...WriteItDoIt...Ornithology

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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby Flavorflav » April 19th, 2009, 11:11 am

srsvball95 wrote:
pjgscioisamazing wrote:Now how exactly can you tell teh difference between a case-control and a cohort study?


A case-control study is trying to find the cause/effect of something.

No offense, but this is really misleading. Case-control studies (like cohort studies) are incapable of showing cause and effect - they can only show correlations. It is true that they may be used to narrow down the field of possible causes, but only a randomized clinical trial can allow you to draw conclusions about cause and effect. This is because only in the RCT do you control other confounding variables. The case-control study probably is the most widely used, because it is the quickest and cheapest. Basically, you take a number of people with the illness (or other factor) you are interested in, and then compare them with a set of controls who do not have the illness (or other factor). The whole study is done in a short amount of time - you may interview people about their history, but you do not follow them over time. In a cohort study, you do follow people over time - usually prospectively, which means you follow them from the beginning of the study for some number of years. You can also do a retrospective cohort study, however - say, by tracking down all the medical info for people who graduated from your high school in 2000 or something. The key point is that you take a defined group and follow them over time, while in a case-control study you don't. The other difference is that, while you can't attribute causality from either study, cohort studies do allow you to compare risk while case-control studies do not.
To take an example, let's say you wanted to study smoking and cancer. To do a case-control study, you would take a bunch of cancer patients and interview them about smoking, and do the same for some group of other people who do not have cancer. You could calculate the odds that cancer patients were smokers and divide it by the odds that noncancer patients were smokers (odds ratio), but you can't do a relative risk because you don't know what proportion of the whole population has cancer, at least not from this study. To do a cohort study, you would selest a group of people (say, this year's graduating class) and follow them for, say, twenty years and see how many got cancer and whether or not they smoked. You can do relative risk because you can get the rate of cancer for the whole group. No matter what you find, you cannot assume that smoking causes cancer. Theoretically, it would be possible that cancer makes people smoke or that some types of people are both more likely to smoke and more likely to get cancer.

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Re: Disease Detectives

Postby bassoonerorlater1 » April 20th, 2009, 7:34 am

What are temporal patterns and how do i study them? The training handout says to know about them, but doesn't explain them.


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