# 7.1 - Cross sectional studies

## Rationale and Design Section

A cross-sectional study is a study with individual-level variables that measures exposure and disease at one point in time. In other words, cross-sectional studies take a snapshot of a population. These types of studies are often used for public health planning.

• Highly generalizable when based on a sample of the general population
• Low cost and short time period needed to conduct

• Cannot infer temporal sequence between exposure and disease
• Identify a high proportion of prevalent cases of long duration
• Can suffer from the “healthy worker effect” - where those who remain employed tend to be healthier than those who leave employment.

## Examples in Research Section

This includes the National Center for Health Statistics study on Products - Data Briefs - Number 443 - August 2022 (cdc.gov)
A key finding = The percentages of both men and women who met the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities decreased with age.

A Key finding = Nearly 80% (n = 176) of mothers with metastatic cancer reported they had discussed their prognosis with at least one of their children; 79% identified at least one barrier to these discussions.

A key finding =

Table 2

Relationship between the training experience in smoking cessation and the perceived harmfulness
of smoking and social responsibility of healthcare professionals

Opinion Training Experience a
(n = 67)
No Training Experience b
(n = 41)
Total

P-value*

n % n % n %
Smoking is harmful to health
Strongly Agree 62 92.5% 31 75.6% 93 86.1% .024
Agree 5 7.5% 9 22.0% 14 13.0%
Undecided 0 0.0% 1 2.4% 1 0.9%
Disagree &
Strongly Disagree
0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Healthcare professionals have a social responsibility to warn smokers of the harmful effects of smoking.
Strongly Agree 42 62.7% 15 36.6% 57 52.8% .017
Agree 22 32.8% 20 48.8% 42 38.9%
Undecided 3 4.5% 6 14.6% 9 8.3%
Disagree &
Strongly Disagree
0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0%

a Nurses with training experience in interventions to stop smoking.

b Nurses without training experience in interventions to stop smoking.

* Fischers exact test.