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Flaws in Epidemiology

Different spheres in the healthcare industry can face flaws and challenges due to different influencing factors. The consequences of the defects can impact various fields of the operations, and it is crucial to act to improve the situation. One of the areas that experience weaknesses is epidemiology, which requires careful attention. First, one should understand the definition of this study and why it is subjected to potential mistakes. Epidemiology can be explained as “the science and practice that describes and explains disease patterns in populations” (Bhopal, 2016, p. 3). In such a way, it is possible to say that assessing the patterns implies analyzing and researching the connection between different figures. Thus, a tiny mistake in one of the factors can lead to false conclusions. Besides, occasional or systematic errors are also possible in this study, which creates a bubble of potential flaws within this sphere.

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Epidemiology implicates numerous types of shortcomings that can result in negative consequences for the study in general. According to Bhopal (2009), the types of errors can include the failure to provide a detailed study population description, insufficient attention to the possibility of errors, or not including detailed comparisons. Therefore, those mistakes can deter the study’s results’ objectivity and validity, which can further affect other reviews or the fields of the healthcare sector. The scientists in epidemiology need to consider all possible challenges and obstacles that can modify the outcomes of their work and analysis. Another flaw is not being able to demonstrate comprehensive health benefits in intervention studies and failing to utilize the data to bring value to the population (Bhopal, 2009). One can notice that the number of errors in epidemiology varies within specific fields of the study. Still, all of them require a thorough evaluation to increase the number of advantages of this science.

As mentioned above, the analyzed field concerns disease patterns, which is also determining risk factors that can lead to various disease outcomes. This particular area generated excellent rewards in public health and medicine because it highlights the contributions of epidemiology (Bhopal, 2017). Nevertheless, one should remember about the errors that the studies providing practical conclusions can experience. One of the examples is the precedent with the connection between hormone replacement theory and heart diseases and cancer among women. The study revealed that the errors that occurred in the research led to the “premature, widespread use” of hormone therapy aiming to prevent those conditions (Bhopal, 2017, p. 200). This case shows the significance of the mistakes and their influence on the population, which emphasizes the necessity to structure epidemiological studies and implement a rigid design.

It is essential to mention that creating a proper study that can answer different questions related to science and interests of public health is at the core of further epidemiology improvement. One of the views for the mistakes in this sphere is that the speed of adopting new efficient ideas is slowing down because “the discipline grows older and develops an accepted dogma” (Savitz & Westreich, 2017, p. 1024). Consequently, it is crucial to search for new ways of recognizing the approaches that are outdated or do not provide clear and relevant results and stimulate the process of innovation and development. One of the questions related to the flaws in epidemiology is what are the potential effective strategies for the study’s enhancement to provide benefits for the population. Moreover, it is interesting to elaborate on how the adverse effects of the errors in epidemiological researches can be managed.


Bhopal, R. (2017). A proposed World Council on Epidemiology and Causation: Summary of feedback and considerations in an international workshop. Annals of Epidemiology, 27(3), 200-203.

Bhopal, R. S. (2016). Concepts of epidemiology: Integrating the ideas, theories, principles, and methods of epidemiology. Oxford University Press.

Bhopal, R. (2009). Seven mistakes and potential solutions in epidemiology, including a call for a World Council of Epidemiology and Causality. Emerging Themes in Epidemiology, 6(1), 6-15.

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Savitz, D. A., & Westreich, D. (2017). Innovations in study design – a call for creative solutions. American Journal of Epidemiology, 186(9), 1024-1025.

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