Etiologic research: needed revisions of concepts and principles

Scand J Work Environ Health. 1999 Dec;25(6):484-90. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.470.


Even though etiologic research has been the central concern in academic epidemiology, its concepts have remained confused or malformed, starting from that of etiology itself; and the same applies to its principles, starting from the notion that the principal variants of an etiologic study are the 'cohort' study and the 'case-control' study. This article suggests revisions of some central concepts pertaining to the object (and objective) of an etiologic study, and it posits an updated conception of the essence--singular--the study itself. This is supplemented by some novel, yet merely orientational, propositions in respect to quality-assurance in etiologic research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease / etiology*
  • Epidemiologic Methods*
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results