Cross-Sectional Studies: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Recommendations

Link to article at PubMed

Wang X and Cheng Z. Chest 2020 - Review.


Cross-sectional studies are observational studies that analyze data from a population at a single point in time. They are often used to measure the prevalence of health outcomes, understand determinants of health, and describe features of a population. Unlike other types of observational studies, cross-sectional studies do not follow individuals up over time. They are usually inexpensive and easy to conduct. They are useful for establishing preliminary evidence in planning a future advanced study. This article reviews the essential characteristics, describes strengths and weaknesses, discusses methodological issues, and gives our recommendations on design and statistical analysis for cross-sectional studies in pulmonary and critical care medicine. A list of considerations for reviewers is also provided.

PMID:32658654 | DOI:10.1016/j.chest.2020.03.012

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