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Information bias in health research: definition, pitfalls, and adjustment methods

Authors Althubaiti A

Received 22 January 2016

Accepted for publication 8 March 2016

Published 4 May 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 211—217

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S104807

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Alaa Althubaiti

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abstract: As with other fields, medical sciences are subject to different sources of bias. While understanding sources of bias is a key element for drawing valid conclusions, bias in health research continues to be a very sensitive issue that can affect the focus and outcome of investigations. Information bias, otherwise known as misclassification, is one of the most common sources of bias that affects the validity of health research. It originates from the approach that is utilized to obtain or confirm study measurements. This paper seeks to raise awareness of information bias in observational and experimental research study designs as well as to enrich discussions concerning bias problems. Specifying the types of bias can be essential to limit its effects and, the use of adjustment methods might serve to improve clinical evaluation and health care practice.

Keywords: self-report bias, social desirability bias, recall bias, misclassification, measurement error bias, confirmation bias 

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