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Epidemiological Methods and Measurements Review

Both articles, by Chang et al. and by Minakawa et al. presented in the research specify the question and the goal of the study. The first article defines the research as a case-control study concerning the risk factors for depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The second research establishes the study field within a randomized control trial of two new mosquito nets to prevent malaria parasite infection. While defining a question worth studying is essential, it is also crucial to understand and specify the given goal of the research. Regulating the examination objective aids in completing the exploration work and defining the purpose of the study.

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The methodology of the two articles represented was different: a randomized control trial and a case-control study. The case-control study compares the patients who have a specific disease, such as Parkinson’s, with people who do not have such a condition. Moreover, the case-control study compares the frequency of exposure to a risk factor such as depression and determines the relationship between the given disease and the risk factor (Chang et al., 2020). Furthermore, the first study is observational since no intervention is needed to alter the disease’s course. The first article aims to determine whether it is possible to connect Parkinson’s with a higher risk of developing depressive disorders, and the study is designed to estimate the odds.

Nevertheless, the second article uses a randomized control trial related to studying random participants, dividing them into the experimental and the control groups. In the second study, the researchers test two mosquito nets, to define which one is better in preventing malaria parasite infection from rapid spreading (Minakawa et al., 2020). The outcome variable is the object that the researcher’s study and what makes them draw their conclusions.

As for the second article, the participants were chosen randomly; therefore, there was no selection bias present. The authors used villagers from Gembe East of Homa Bay County in western Kenya (Minakawa et al., 2020). However, the first research included 1767 patients younger than forty years old, 324 patients with depressive disorders, and 972 patients without depressive states (Chang et al., 2020). The groups were matched at a ratio of 1:3 by age, sex, and index year (Chang et al., 2020). Therefore, it is possible that the research had selection bias mainly because they did not include people older than forty. Consequently, the results can be altered depending on the participants’ age group, and the products can be faulty for the people that were not included in the study.

The data for the second article was collected from a sentinel surveillance system, and mosquitos were collected from the sentinel houses for study. However, if to talk about the first study, used data from the Taiwan NHIIRD, developed by Taiwan National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) (Chang et al., 2020). The data is efficient and it is organized correctly according to the individual research. Moreover, the authors tried to minimize the errors by adding statistical and other data.

The variables concerning the data were also exact and aimed to minimize the errors. In the second article, the variables, such as epidemiological data, and statistical analysis were included and thoroughly discussed, which proved the legitimacy of their point (Minakawa et al., 2020). The first study used variables such as statistical information, and other evidence and thoroughly discussed it.

The first study conducted the chi-square test to compare the main variables. Moreover, they used logistic regression and SAS statistical software (Minakawa et al., 2020). Considering possible errors, the study could have a problem with data quality because it relies on people’s conditions; it can have a negative effect on diagnosis evaluation since it is clear that one group of participants has issues and the other has not. Furthermore, the second article used a logistic regression model to reveal the connection between participants’ age and net bed usage. The problem with this kind of research could be in the significant expenses, and the biases concerning the population, which can be different from the people they represent. This can cause several errors to occur, including bigotry and not transparent sources of information.

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Considering the weaknesses surrounding both studies, there could be several ones. The case-control study relies on people’s conditions, which is why it could distort the results. The reason that the initial research had healthy people and people without Parkinson’s, could have an impact on the end results making them faulty. Furthermore, the weakness of the randomized control trials is in the biases concerning the population.


Chang, Y.-P., Lee, M.-S., Wu, D.-W., Tsai, J.-H., Ho, P.-S., Lin, C.-H. R., & Chuang, H.-Y. (2020). Risk factors for depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease: A nationwide nested case-control study. PLOS ONE, 15(7). Web.

Minakawa, N., Kongere, J. O., Sonye, G. O., Lutiali, P. A., Awuor, B., Kawada, H., Izosumi, R. & Futami, K. (2020). A preliminary study on designing a cluster randomized control trial of two new mosquito nets to prevent malaria parasite infection. Tropical Medicine and Health, 48(1), 98. Web.

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