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NURS 4610: Translating Evidence for Nursing Practice: Cohort Studies

What is a Cohort Study?

A cohort study is a type of quantitative research.  Cohort studies are often described as "natural experiments" (Schmidt & Brown, 2019, p. 210).  They are like case-control studies in reverse.  In a cohort study, individuals are selected based on their exposure status.  Researchers then investigate whether something individuals are exposed to is associated with the risk of a disease or condition (Schmidt & Brown, 2019, p. 210).  

JBI Levels of Evidence

Under 'Levels of Evidence for Effectiveness':

  • 3.c - Cohort study with control group

Under 'Levels of Evidence for Prognosis':

  • 3.b - Cohort study (or control arm of RCT)

For more information, please refer to the JBI Levels of Evidence (LOE) Information in your Blackboard course site (under Module 7) or see Dr. Reuille's LOE document below: 

PRO TIPS: Cohort Study Checklist

Each JBI Checklist provides tips and guidance on what to look for to answer each question.  These tips begin on page 4. 

Below are some additional Frequently Asked Questions about the Cohort Studies Checklist that have been asked students in previous semesters. 

Frequently Asked Question Response
In regards to Question 4, what exactly is a confounding factor? A confounder or confounding factor/confounding variable is often described as a third variable that could potentially impact the study's results. See the definition in the Cochrane Glossary. Confounding factors/variables or confounders may be listed in the study's limitations section or within the study's main results section. 
For Question 5, how can I tell whether strategies were used to deal with the confounding factors in the study? Check for multivariate analysis or regression analysis in the study's data analysis/statistical analysis section. See the definition in the Cochrane Glossary