Special Issue "The Challenge in Evaluation of Nested Cohort Studies in Public Health and Occupational Health Settings"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. André Esser
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institut for occupational, social and environmental medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstraße 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany
Interests: multivariate statistics; biometric planning; epidemiology; health economy; utility value analysis; econometric values in healthcare; health related quality of life and quality adjusted life years; polychlorinated biphenyls and adverse health effects

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Studies in the fields of occupational medicine or public health are often conducted as multicenter studies. This results in a nested data structure. Hierarchically structured data are obtained when the study cohort encloses different groups (e.g., geographical or temporal distance from exposure). If the effects of exposure to pollutants/hazardous substances or effects of health interventions are defined as endpoints, it is often appropriate to repeat the measurements after time in order to capture a longitudinal course of the effect parameters. I think all of us have been confronted with the problem of correctly mapping such data in a statistical model. Unfortunately, we notice from time to time that researchers take the easy way out and evaluate such data in a cross-sectional view. The nested structure of the data is often neglected. Information contained in the data is not used, and an opportunity is missed. Modern statistics, however, offer a variety of possibilities to meet these challenges. By adapting the study design (crossover design, subtraction of repeated measurements, etc.), it is sometimes also possible to facilitate the correct handling of the data. The goal of this Special Issue is to provide examples from different research areas to illustrate the possibilities of analyzing and handling hierarchical, nested, and/or longitudinal data in the community and to contribute to the exchange of ideas.

I look forward to your contributions.

Kind regards

Dr. André Esser
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • nested data
  • longitudinal data
  • cohort studies
  • statistics
  • modeling
  • multicenter studies
  • effect parameters
  • repeated measurements
  • persistent organic pollutants
  • occupational exposure

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Participants Attrition in a Longitudinal Study: The Malaysian Cohort Study Experience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7216; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147216 - 06 Jul 2021
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The attrition rate of longitudinal study participation remains a challenge. To date, the Malaysian Cohort (TMC) study follow-up rate was only 42.7%. This study objective is to identify the cause of attrition among TMC participants and the measures to curb it. A total [...] Read more.
The attrition rate of longitudinal study participation remains a challenge. To date, the Malaysian Cohort (TMC) study follow-up rate was only 42.7%. This study objective is to identify the cause of attrition among TMC participants and the measures to curb it. A total of 19,343 TMC participants from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor that was due for follow-up were studied. The two most common attrition reasons are undergoing medical treatment at another government or private health center (7.0%) and loss of interest in participating in the TMC project (5.1%). Those who were inclined to drop out were mostly Chinese, aged 50 years and above, unemployed, and had comorbidities during the baseline recruitment. We have also contacted 2183 participants for the home recruitment follow-up, and about 10.9% agreed to join. Home recruitment slightly improved the overall follow-up rate from 42.7% to 43.5% during the three-month study period. Full article
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