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Confronting the confounders: the meaning, detection, and treatment of confounders in research

Rhodes AE, Lin E, Streiner DL. Can J Psychiatry. 1999; 44(2):175-9.

When one variable is studied to try to explain another, the relationship between them may be biased by a third variable. The bias, known as 'confounding,' is common and must be minimized in research. This description is deceptively simple, though. Identifying confounding is complex but can be reduced to a stepped procedure. By way of examples, this article describes confounding and how to recognize it.

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Keywords: Research and statistical methods