Muller Journal of Medical Sciences and Research

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35--36

Need to differentiate between descriptive and prospective study in a clinical setup


Radha Saini 
 Centre for Nursing Research and Community Empowerment, Mother Mary's Institute of Nursing, Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Radha Saini
Centre for Nursing Research and Community Empowerment, Mother Mary's Institute of Nursing, Nasrala, Hoshiarpur, Punjab
India




How to cite this article:
Saini R. Need to differentiate between descriptive and prospective study in a clinical setup.Muller J Med Sci Res 2018;9:35-36


How to cite this URL:
Saini R. Need to differentiate between descriptive and prospective study in a clinical setup. Muller J Med Sci Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 May 27 ];9:35-36
Available from: https://www.mjmsr.net/text.asp?2018/9/1/35/223922


Full Text

I appreciate the article “Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with psoriasis: A prospective, observational, descriptive study from a tertiary health-care center in South India” published in Muller J Med Sci Res [serial online] 2017 [cited 2017 Nov 30];8:31-5 and for raising an important issue of highlighting the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with psoriasis.[1] However, I have a few concerns regarding the study design and methodology being adopted in the present study.

First, the authors have written in the study design that “This was a prospective, observational, descriptive hospital-based study conducted at Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, from January to December 2013.” The epidemiologic studies are either descriptive or analytical studies.

Descriptive studies comprise of case reports, case series reports, cross-sectional studies, surveillance studies, and ecological studies, whereas analytical studies are either experimental or observational. Observational studies are case–control and cohort studies, and prospective studies involve taking a cohort of study subjects and then watching them over a long period, wherein the outcome of interest needs to be common.

Hence, how can a study be “descriptive” and “prospective” at the same time? How were the 207 patients with different types of psoriasis recruited in the study? Were all these patients recruited consecutively by the authors or were taken randomly among many patients of psoriasis visiting the OPD? What sampling criterion was adopted by the authors? Cross-sectional study aims to measure the outcomes and exposures in the study or research participants at the same time. It gives snapshot of the situation for the particular period, and hence, this study is a cross-sectional study. In cross-sectional studies, the aim is to estimate the prevalence of unknown parameter(s) from the target population using a random sample. Hence, an adequate sample size is needed to estimate the population prevalence with good precision.[2] Anyways, if the sample size is too small, the authors may not be able to answer the study question.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Lunawat D, Bubna AK, Sankarasubramaniam A, Veeraraghavan M, Rangarajan S, Swaminathan A. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with psoriasis: A prospective, observational, descriptive study from a tertiary health care center in South India. Muller J Med Sci Res 2017;8:31-5.
2Pourhoseingholi MA, Vahedi M, Rahimzadeh M. Sample size calculation in medical studies. Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench 2013;6:14-7.