Types of descriptive studies
- Case series studies
- Community diagnosis or need assessment
- Descriptive cross-sectional studies
- Ecological descriptive studies
- Epidemiological description of disease occurrence
Use of descriptive Study
- To measure incidence
- To measure Prevalence
- To generate hypothesis
The essential Features of descriptive studies are:
- To describe present or past characteristics of persons with a particular outcome or a particular exposure and/or to determine incidence or prevalence of an outcome and exposure.
- Only one group is studied. No comparison group is used.
- No conclusion can be made about the association between exposure and outcome. Information derived from such studies may suggest possible associations which require further study using analytical design.
- They may be prospective or retrospective in time.
- Description study is limited to a description of the occurrence of the diseases in a population.
- Description studies allow the generation of hypotheses; which can be tested by analytical or experimental design of studies subsequently-WHO.
- It is often 1st step of epidemiological investigation (WHO-Park).
- It includes the collection, analysis&interpretation of data. Both qualitative & quantitative tech may be used including questionnaires, interviews, observation of participants, service statistics & documents –WHO
This study involves the following three questions:-
- Where the disease occurs? – Place distribution.
- When it occurs? –Time distribution.
- Who are being affected? – Person distribution.