Description

Many classical aetiological studies are based around special cohort studies designed for that purpose. Individuals provide informed consent and the information collected both at baseline and at follow-up is standardised and often obtained specifically for the cohort study without clinical care. The increasing ability to collect data in more standardised ways in routine clinical practice, and the ever-increasing need for greater sample sizes, coupled with the spiralling costs of the construction and maintenance of special studies, creates an imperative to utilise data routinely collected in everyday clinical practice for aetiological investigations. This creates many operational issues, but foremost amongst them ...

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