What is the main difference between Longitudinal and Prospective studies? - USMLE Forums
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Old 04-06-2013
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Stats What is the main difference between Longitudinal and Prospective studies?

What is the main difference between Longitudinal and Prospective studies? How can I set them apart in a question?

An example:

In a study, a group of people are exposed to an environmental toxin but are not treated. Instead, they are observed over time on a standard set of measures to ascertain the potential effects of the toxin. This type of study design is called:
a. clinical trial
b. double-blind
c. longitudinal
d. prospective
e. retrospective

The answer is C, longitudinal. But why?? This is a Kaplan QBook question at the BS section, and the explanation for prospective and longitudinal doesnt really give a good difference.

I also found this post What type of study in which the user Novobiocin gives a pretty detailed answer of a question and explains some about Longitudinal studies.

But honestly, I cannot really find a prominent feature to set these 2 apart. Is it that in a prospective I give an intervention? Or that I compare 2 groups? (exposed vs non exposed).
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Old 04-06-2013
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I guess in longitudinal, u JUST observe and dun do anything towards that study...onky in the end u write ur findings.
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Old 04-06-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigBOSSguy View Post
I guess in longitudinal, u JUST observe and dun do anything towards that study...onky in the end u write ur findings.
But in a prospective cohort study you would also be just observing, since its not experimental.
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Old 04-07-2013
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I think in prospective study u see many different risk factors while on longitudinal, there is only one risk?
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Old 04-07-2013
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Thank you. But is there any textbook answer?
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