Cross Section Studies. A Research Design to Consider in Morphological Sciences

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Carlos Manterola; María José Hernández-Leal; Tamara Otzen; María Elena Espinosa & Luis Grande


Cross-sectional studies (CSS) began European countries in the 1940s in. The CSSs correspond to observational-type investigations that allow studying the prevalence of disease, determining the association between variables and the development of an effect of interest, discovering the properties of a diagnostic test, and censusing populations, describing the characteristics of a population at a given time and place. This implies that follow-up periods are not required, and that they are neither prospective nor retrospective. These characteristics allow them to be cheaper and easier to perform in relation to longitudinal studies. On the other hand, being descriptive in nature, they serve as input and preliminary evidence for studies of greater methodological complexity, such as cohort studies. However, they have limitations and biases that must be considered by researchers. The aim of this manuscript was to generate a study document to review essential characteristics, strengths and weaknesses; discuss methodological issues of ECT in health sciences; and provide some examples obtained from the literature, for a better understanding of the design.

KEY WORDS: Cross-Sectional Studies; Prevalence; Cross- Sectional Studies/statistics & numerical data; Sampling; Biases; Observational Studies as Topic; Research Design.

How to cite this article

MANTEROLA, C.; HERNÁNDEZ-LEAL, M. J.; OTZEN, T.; ESPINOSA, M. E. & GRANDE, L. Cross section studies. A research design to consider in morphological sciences. Int. J. Morphol., 41(1):146-155, 2023.