Control without separate controls: evaluation of vaccine safety using case-only methods

Vaccine. 2004 May 7;22(15-16):2064-70. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2004.01.017.


Epidemiological methods involving only cases are reviewed in the context of vaccine safety studies. These methods include some ecological methods, case-coverage methods, case-crossover and self-controlled case series methods. The properties of the methods are described using examples from the literature. It is argued that such methods, and in particular the self-controlled case series method, are powerful epidemiologic tools meriting the same attention as more traditional cohort and case-control methods.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Ecology
  • Epidemiologic Methods*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Research Design
  • Vaccines / adverse effects*


  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Vaccines