There are several factors that can significantly affect the design of epidemiological studies. Among them, one can distinguish the so-called recall bias. This phenomenon can be partly explained by the fact under some circumstances; people tend to focus on some specific events.Healthcare: Bias in Epidemiological Studies
Moreover, this problem can be attributed to the inaccuracies of the respondents’ recollections. This paper is aimed at showing why this issue can have significant implications for case-control studies and how its effects can be minimized by scholars.
There are several examples illustrating the influence of recall bias. For instance, people who are affected by a certain disease such as cancer, are more likely to recollect the exposure to potential risk factors (Hasson, 2011). The main issue is that they can recollect this exposure only because they could learn about this risk factor through mass media like television or the Internet (Hasson, 2011).Healthcare: Bias in Epidemiological Studies
Similarly, parents are more likely to recollect the events that could have contributed to the disease of their children. One can mention that the parents of children of autism may focus on the events that could have led to this disorder. In contrast, parents, whose children are not affected, are more likely to dismiss these events as something unimportant. This is one of the trends that have been observed in various case-control studies.
There are several strategies that can minimize the influence of recall bias. For example, researchers try to select patients who have been recently diagnosed with a specific disease (Hasson, 2011). Additionally, researchers may conceal the specific question that they want to examine. In particular, the questions about a particular risk factor can be included in the long list of questions which are related to potential exposures (Hasson, 2011).
So, they will not attract the respondents’ attention to a specific issue. Furthermore, under some circumstances, researchers can compare patients’ self-reports with their medical records (Hasson, 2011). On the whole, these techniques are useful for reducing the impact of recall bias. These are the main details that can be singled out.