follow-up study

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Related to follow-up study: Cohort study

fol·low-·up stud·y

1. Synonym(s): cohort study
2. study in which people exposed to risk or given a designated preventive or therapeutic regimen are observed over a period or at intervals to determine the outcome of the exposure or regimen.

cohort study

An observational study in which a defined group of people (a cohort) is followed over time and outcomes are compared in subsets of the cohort who were exposed, not exposed, or exposed at different levels to an intervention or other factor of interest. Cohorts can be assembled in the present and followed into the future (a “concurrent cohort study”), or identified from past records and followed from that time up to the present (a “historical cohort study”). Because random allocation is not used, matching or statistical adjustment must be used to ensure that the comparison groups are as similar as possible.


a scholarly examination. Specific types of study are also detailed under blind, case-control, cohort, cross-sectional.

analytical study
one in which a phenomenon is described and an attempt made to analyze the effects of variables on the phenomenon.
descriptive study
one in which a phenomenon is described but no attempt is made to analyze the effects of variables on the phenomenon.
follow-up study
one carried out to find out whether there has been change in the situation since the initial study.
longitudinal study
one carried out over a period of time so that chronological time has an opportunity to exert an effect as a variable.
observational study
see descriptive study (above).
prospective study
one in which the data to be studied are yet to be generated, the events having not yet occurred.
retrospective study
one based on examination of existing data, on events that have already occurred.
simulation study
one in which the real circumstances are simulated, either in fact, or by means of a set of mathematical formulae each of which expresses the probability of each outcome in a series of consequential events that mirror the possible pathways in a real-life situation.