June 26, 2022
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Category - Cross Sectional Studies

Cross-Sectional Studies can provide a snapshot of the frequency of a disease or other health-related characteristics in a population at a given point in time. This methodology can be used to assess local researchers with the burden of disease or the health needs of a population. Therefore, these studies are particularly useful in informing the planning and allocation of health resources.

In a cross-sectional study, data is collected on the whole study population at a single point in time to examine the relationship between disease (or other health-related states) and other variables.

1. Cross-sectional studies measure the exposure and the outcome at the same time.
2. Cross-sectional studies estimate the prevalence of a disease or condition.
3. Cross-sectional studies cannot establish a temporal relationship between the exposure and the outcome.

Cross-Sectional Study Types:


Analytical cross-sectional studies use data on the prevalence of both exposure and health outcome of a person. The data is obtained for the purpose of comparing health outcome differences between exposed and unexposed individuals. Analytical studies can attempt to describe the prevalence of, for example, a disease or non-disease by first beginning with a population base.


Descriptive cross-sectional studies help characterize the prevalence of a health outcome in a specified population. Prevalence can be assessed at either one point in time (point prevalence) or over a defined period of time ( period prevalence). Period prevalence is required when it takes time to accumulate a piece of sufficient information on a disease in a population like what proportion of people are being cared for by a public health clinic over a year pf having hypertension. These prevalence measures are most commonly used in public health.

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