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With an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the different data sources, one can learn to critique studies of child health that use one or the other source. Knowing the potential biases that affect each source can help assess estimates of disease prevalence and distribution from published studies as well as design and interpretation of data in one’s own research.

Some of the concepts learned in this evaluation of maternal reports and medical records of children’s chronic health conditions will be applicable to other age groups and health conditions. For example, recall bias in retrospectively collected data can affect studies of adult health. Selective under-representation of certain health conditions and some sociodemographic groups in medical records can also apply to other age groups and health conditions.