This post is based on my learning experience by listening to a journal club podcast from the Population Heath Exchange website managed by the School of Public Health, Boston University.
Cannabis use and psychosis case-control study
The podcast presenters discuss this multi-center case-control study on cannabis use and psychosis published in The Lancet Psychiatry On May 1, 2019. The discussion helped me to refresh my knowledge about critical analysis of retrospective case-control studies with special relevance to today’s context.
In addition to highlighting common biases inherent to retrospective case-control designs like recall bias, social desirability bias, as well as vague operational definitions of variables, the presenters bring our attention to some “spin” methods used when writing a research paper: Use of causal language in observational study designs.
In the second half of the podcast, they discuss a recent phenomenon called “ethics dumping” in which the researchers from countries with strict regulations collaborate with researchers from other countries where the conditions are not so strict. One such example is collaborating with Chinese counterparts on studies of editing embryos. They briefly discuss an Indian study about pap smears.
You can listen to the podcast through this link;https://populationhealthexchange.org/fa-episode-047/.