The Whitehall study is a ground-breaking longitudinal (prospective cohort) study that clearly demonstrated the association between social determinants of health (the social gradient) and morbidity and mortality (cardiovascular disease) in a population of British civil servants (Breeze et al., 2001; Chandola et al., 2008; Marmot et al., 1978).
Read these papers and answer the following questions.
1. What is the sampling frame for each phase of the Whitehall study (Whitehall I and II)? (5 marks)
2. How was disease risk assessed (both in data collection and analysis) in each of the three studies and why? (15 marks)
3. To what extent can the results of each of the three studies be generalized to other populations (include reasons for your answer)? (10 marks)
4. Would it be feasible to conduct a similar study in Australia using an existing cohort such as the 45 and up study cohort or the Australian Women’s longitudinal study cohort? Why or why not? (20 marks)
For each of the following scenarios identify the best study design to explore each health issue and explain your reason for choosing this study design. Include an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of using the selected study design and include any ethical considerations. Support your reasons with justification and referenced examples of research studies.
1. The causal relationship between lung cancer and smoking (10 marks)
2. Association between depression and binge eating in a population of obese adolescents and adults (10 marks)
3. Long term effects of detention on the mental and physical health of asylum seekers (10 marks)
4. Relationship between folate supplementation during pregnancy and development of autism in offspring (10 marks)
5. Testing of a drug for use in elderly people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (10 marks)