Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

The ‘well control’ artefact in case/control studies of specific psychiatric disorders

Sharon Schwartza1 c1 and Bruce G. Linka1

a1 New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, USA

Abstract

An appropriate choice of controls in case/control studies of specific psychiatric disorders is crucial for valid risk-factor assessment. One suggested approach to control-group selection, the use of a well control group, is the focus of this paper. While using well controls has intuitive appeal, this paper shows that such a procedure can lead to ambiguous and biased results.

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Sharon Schwartz, Social Psychiatry Research Unit, Columbia University, 100 Haven Avenue, Tower III 19E, New York, New York 10032, USA.

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