Beyond the ecological fallacy: potential problems when studying healthcare organisations
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
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Saunders, C., Elliott, M. N., Lyratzopoulos, G., & Abel, G. (2015). Beyond the ecological fallacy: potential problems when studying healthcare organisations. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 109 92-97. https://doi.org/10.1177/0141076815610574
Ecological studies, which consider patient groups rather than individuals, are common in health policy research. The ‘ecological fallacy’ is a well-recognised methodological concern, but in this perspectives paper, we focus on less often appreciated but equally important limitations of such studies. In particular, we consider reliability and power as they apply to ecological studies, and make recommendations to inform the appropriate design and interpretation of these increasingly popular studies.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. GL is supported by a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship (A18180). The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of any funder or any other organisation or institution.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0141076815610574
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/251155