The role of conceptual frameworks in epidemiological analysis: A hierarchical approach

Cesar G. Victora, Sharon R. Huttly, Sandra C. Fuchs, Maria Teresa A Olinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. This paper discusses appropriate strategies for multivariate data analysis in epidemiological studies. Methods. in studies where determinants of disease are sought, it is suggested that the complex hierarchical inter-relationships between these determinants are best managed through the use of conceptual frameworks, Failure to take these aspects into consideration is common in the epidemiological literature and leads to underestimation of the effects of distal determinants, Results. An example of this analytical approach, which is not based purely on statistical associations, is given for assessing determinants of mortality due to diarrhoea in children. Conclusions. Conceptual frameworks provide guidance for the use of multivariate techniques and aid the interpretation of their results in the light of social and biological knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-227
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Conceptual frameworks
  • Diarrhoea mortality
  • Disease determinants
  • Multivariate analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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