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Introduction to cross-study research

This section introduces the concept of cross-study research and why it is important.

It also outlines some of the challenges and considerations when carrying out this type of research.

What are the challenges of cross-study research?

Cross-study research has many benefits but is often challenging in practice.

A common challenge is that studies tend to use different ways to measure similar things, and it is important to be sure that any differences found between the studies are not artefacts of this different measurement method.

The potential differences between the studies of interest need to be considered at each stage of the project to ensure that findings from the comparisons are valid.

Data harmonisation is way to adjust the data from different studies so that it is comparable. Harmonisation can be done in several different ways, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, but all require significant time and effort to produce comparable data.

Considerations to make when carrying out cross-study research

(adapted from Bann et al. (2022)).