A prospective study is also known as the Prospective Cohort Study. Any prospective study aims to determine what are the results and the questions the end of it uncovers.
It is like marking someone or something as a test subject, then introduce them to a particular surrounding and follow the results. There is another kind of study which is opposite to this, and it is called retrospective study.
The time frame for prospective studies is generally longer than normal retrospective studies. At times, some of the reviews have also lasted longer than a decade. So it is not hard to guess that it can also be quite costly to arrange and manage all the resources.
Some of the common methods of conducting prospective studies are:
The participants or the volunteers who have agreed to appear for the test usually have to pass a particular criterion to be seen as a specific and perfect test subject. Most often, prospective studies need people from one particular age group or gender or with other specialities.
Sometimes the participants are called and paid to be the test subjects and sometimes the participants volunteer on their own and don’t ask or expect to be paid. The data collection methods are somewhat similar for every test subject, and it is changed only in rare cases.
The outcome is judged and factored by various questions and methods. Some of the most common of them are:
- Noting when the subject develops the condition.
- Noting the time for when the test subject becomes uninterested and drops out of the program.
- Noting when the exposure status of the subject changes.
- Noting when the question ceases to exist
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The outcomes for diseases and their prevalence are quite easier to understand and note.
- At the same time, the study of multiple conditions can be conducted efficiently.
- There is no scope of intervention by issues such as ethical ones
- It can be costly.
- Determining hundreds of variables and identifying them can be quite confusing at times.
- The sample sizes selected to study are huge.
- A particular bias can be developed for a few test subjects which may fail the entire study.