The science of prevalence: development of an evidence-based tool to assess the risk of bias in prevalence studies

Diana Buitrago Garcia, University of Bern

Prevalence is a widely used measurement in the field of epidemiology that describes the frequency of a condition in a group of people at a given time. The World Health Organization considers prevalence an important measure that can quantify the real magnitude of inequities in health. Unfortunately, there is a high probability of biases being present in prevalence studies. Additionally, we found that currently there are no tools that can measure the risk of bias in prevalence studies. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop, test and disseminate a tool for assessing the risk of bias in prevalence studies. Many decisions made in public health, and in the daily practice of health care professionals are based on information derived from prevalence studies. Without the evaluation of their risk of bias there is a probability that those decisions might be based on wrong results. Thus, this project will contribute to the field of methods in epidemiology in order to have available the best scientific evidence with high quality results.

Short Biography

Diana is PhD student at the Institute for Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at Bern University. She has an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from the National University of Colombia. Her work has focused in developing systematic reviews in different topics and recently in the methods for developing systematic reviews of prevalence studies. She has worked with the Cochrane Collaboration Network, the Cochrane Iberoamerican Center and Cochrane Colombia.

Key Words

Prevalence, Risk of Bias, Epidemiology

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