Epidemiological studies included in the Medical Market Research take the form of in-depth market surveys, aimed at determining the level of human disease spread, and their conditions – knowledge obtained through this type of research allows us to recognize and prevent the analysed diseases.
Epidemiological studies - basic assumptions
These analyses, conducted using the principles of descriptive, analytical and experimental epidemiology are based on the premise that the disease does not appear within the human population at random, and that it is characterized by identifiable risk factors.
Epidemiological studies are carried out in three variants:
Survey studies – this type of research is designed to determine the health status of a given population (it allows you to assess the impact of market conditions on the spread of diseases and to determine the morbidity rate);
Observational studies – used for the assessment of risk and prognostic factors (primarily ised in situations where a typical clinical trial turns out to be impossible, unethical or costly);
Experimental research – this type of research is limited to intentional and controlled testing of an agent responsible for triggering the researched health problems (the test and control groups are based on a random allocation of people).
As part of observational epidemiological studies, we distinguish:
Prospective (cohort) studies, i.e. measurements involving at minimum two groups of healthy people, one of whom is exposed to a probable risk factor – through long-term follow-up, this allows for assessment of the occurence of the disease, taking into account the level of exposure to the factor;
Cross-sectional studies, i.e. measurements referring to the incidence of a given health effect in at least two treatment groups, differing in exposure to the agent;
Retrospective (clinical-control) studies, i.e. measurements to determine potential exposure to harmful factors that may have occurred in the past in the researched population. Indicators in this section are found by identifying an appropriate group of cases with a strictly defined disease status, and disseminating them to individuals who are sick (test group) and healthy ones (control group).
The basic indicators of epidemiological research include morbidity and mortality.