Cohort Studies, is a study design where one or more people (called cohorts) are followed and subsequent status evaluations with respect to a disease or outcome are conducted to determine which participants exposure characteristics (risk factors) are associated. As the study is conducted, outcome from participants in each cohort is measured and relationships with specific characteristics determined. Cohort studies usually observe large groups of individuals and record their exposure to certain risk factors to find clues as to the possible causes of disease. They can be prospective studies that gather data going forward, or retrospective cohort studies, which look at data already collected. This type of research can also help identify social factors that influence health.
The fundamentals of a cohort study are:
a. Identify people who are free of disease at the beginning of the study
b. Assemble cohorts of exposed and unexposed individuals
c. Follow cohorts for the development of incident outcomes
d. Compare the risks of incident outcomes in each cohort
- Cheaper & easier than a randomized controlled trial (RCT)
- Standardization of criteria/outcome is possible
- Subjects can be matched, which limits the influence of confounding variables
- Cohorts can be difficult to identify from confounding variables
- No randomization, which means that imbalances could exist
- Blinding/Masking is difficult
- Outcome of interest can take a long time to occur
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Herniated discs are a debilitating condition characterized by pain, numbness and weakness in one or more limbs. While some people may experience no pain at all, those that do may often wish for fast pain relief to avoid long periods of sick leave from their jobs. Many healthcare professionals recommend surgery for patients with persistent and/or worsening herniated disc symptoms but other non-operative treatment options can help treat disc herniations. The purpose of the following article is to demonstrate how a structured physiotherapy treatment model can provide rapid relief to patients who qualify for lumbar disc surgery.
A Structured Physiotherapy Treatment Model Can Provide Rapid Relief to Patients Who Qualify for Lumbar Disc Surgery: A Prospective Cohort Study
- Objective: To evaluate a structured physiotherapy treatment model in patients who qualify for lumbar disc surgery.
A herniated disc is typically a very painful condition, especially if the inner gel-like substance of the intervertebral disc, known as the nucleus pulposus, pushes through the thick, outer ring of cartilage and puts pressure on the sensitive nerves of the spine. Discs are soft, rubbery pads found between each vertebrae of the spine that act as shock-absorbers, allowing the spine to bend and/or flex. An intervertebral disc may begin to rupture as a result of wear-and-tear or due to a sudden injury. Fortunately, most individuals who’ve suffered a herniated disc can find relief from a variety of non-operative treatments before considering surgery. The following article highlights the impact of early treatment for herniated discs in the lumbar spine, or low back.
The Impact of Early Recovery on Long-Term Outcomes in a Cohort of Patients Undergoing Prolonged Non-Operative Treatment for Lumbar Disc Herniation: Clinical Article
One of the most prevalent causes of lower back pain and sciatica may be due to the compression of the nerve roots in the low back from a lumbar herniated disc, or a ruptured disc in the lumbar spine. Common symptoms of lumbar herniated discs include varying intensities of pain, muscle spasms or cramping, sciatica and leg weakness as well as loss of proper leg function. While these may not appear to be closely associated with each other, a lumbar herniated disc may also affect the cervical spine, manifesting symptoms of migraine and headache. The purpose of the following articles is to educate patients and demonstrate the relation between migraine pain and lumbar herniated disc, further discussing the treatment of these two common conditions.
A Critical Review of Manual Therapy Use for Headache Disorders: Prevalence, Profiles, Motivations, Communication and Self-Reported Effectiveness
Despite the expa