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Possible progress and unresolved conflicts resulting from guidelines on good epidemiologic practices.
Buncher CR; Collins JJ; Halperin W
J Occup Med 1991 Dec; 33(12):1261-1264
The Good Epidemiologic Practices guidelines required that those involved in epidemiological research produce a great deal more paperwork, quality control, quality assurance, documentation and attention to archiving the data base and results than was previously required before the guidelines were established. Whether these additional efforts will produce studies demonstrating greater quality, excellence, and conviction than had been earlier produced remained a question. Conflicts which can result when guidelines are established were reviewed. Quality control may be seen as an end in itself, when in reality it is the producing of a quality study which is the goal. In cases of litigation, the following of the rules can become the focus of disputes that do not really judge the quality of the study. It is possible that quality may have been excellent in a given study even though no formal quality control program was adopted. The exception of response epidemiology must also be considered. In these cases there are enough instances of harm being done to workers due to a specific cause even without running through a quality controlled study. In these cases the harmful agent must be removed immediately rather than waiting for a study to be designed and the fact proven after additional harm has been wrought.
JOCMA7; NIOSH-Author; Medical-research; Mortality-surveys; Risk-factors; Industrial-hazards; Quality-control; Quality-standards; Occupational-exposure
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division