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TableĀ 1 Comparison of recurrent cross-sectional and trajectory analysis

From: Analyzing longitudinal qualitative data: the application of trajectory and recurrent cross-sectional approaches

Considerations Recurrent cross-sectional analysis Trajectory analysis
Research focus Describe the differences between time points Describe how process or experience changes over time
Sample considerations The cohort at each time point may be the same or different May be preferred if sample is highly transient or has high mortality over study duration Must maintain same cohort
Theoretical approach Determined by the research question Any analytic approach may be used consistently throughout the study Determined by the research question Any analytic approach may be used consistently throughout the study
Level of data analysis Whole sample (or subsamples) Individual people or individual groups (e.g., families)
Timing of analysis May analyze as each time point is completed Must wait until data is collected at all time points