Research Article
Volume 13 Issue 4 - 2022
Causation, Relationship, Association, and Correlation: Narrative Review
Mark E Murdock*
Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, Port Orange, FL, USA
*Corresponding Author: Mark E Murdock, Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, Port Orange, FL, USA.
Received: February 13, 2022; Published: March 10, 2022


Introduction: In this narrative review, the author explains the terms causation, relationship, association, and correlation. Causation is addressed through Hill’s criterion which includes strength of association. Relationship and association are vague terms. Correlation is explained through definitions, types, examples and incorrect usages. Correlation is important to determine which treatments need to be investigated at a higher level.

Methods: Literature review was based upon convenience sample of materials used to teach the subject and Pubmed search limited to free full text.

Results: Deliverables include explanations and diagrams of Hill’s criterion and types of correlation.

Discussion: Potential problems and solutions are discussed including the improper use of Pearson’s r in diagnostic statistics.

Conclusion: This provides a resource for beginning to understand the complexities of causation and elucidating features of correlation.


Keywords: Causation; Relationship; Association; Correlation; Pearson R; Evidence Based Medicine; EBM; EBCP; Education


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Citation: Mark E Murdock. “Causation, Relationship, Association, and Correlation: Narrative Review”. EC Orthopaedics 13.4 (2022): 01-12.

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