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Confounding in Epidemiology

Subject areas: biology, mathematics
Grade level: 10th-12th
Level of difficulty: moderate
Prerequisite: Students should have prior knowledge of cohort studies. The following units will expose students to – or help fulfill – this prerequisite:

Summary: This two- to three-day long unit will provide students an elementary understanding of confounding, one of the major problems of non-experimental research. It will provide them experience with the calculation of relative risk and the use of stratification as part of a procedure for identifying and correcting for confounding variables in a cohort study.

The unit will also lead students through the arguments and calculations for establishing whether a variable is a confounder.

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