Professor Dr. C. Mary Schooling of the CUNY School of Public Health suggests ways to validate observational studies. It was published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.
[Photo: Dr. C. Mary Schooling]
Validated instruments for measuring items, ranging from cytokines to mental health, are an indispensable part of biomedical research. Dr. Schooling suggests extending the concept of validating instruments against a ‘gold-standard’ to validating observational study associations according to their concordance with known causal effects. Specifically, researchers could validate new potentially causal association(s) found in observational studies matched known causal effects. Dr. Schooling recommends rating the concordance of studies’ reported associations with known causal effects, using positive and negative predictive value, and prioritizes their use in investigations of new potentially causal effects.