Methodological Implications of Longitudinal Studies in Public Health Research
State of the art public health evidence is a critical element for health policy and program development. The implication and level of use of the evidence for policy and program however depends among other things on the study design. Randomized control trial (RCT) is widely recognized as a gold standard while under circumstances when this is not feasible, longitudinal study is the best design in the line. Meta-analysis and/or synthesis is another useful design that helps to evaluate and synthesize observational studies in generating more concrete evidence for policy and program use. The purpose of this editorial is to encourage authors to consider study designs that may contribute to policies and programs. The Jimma University’s experience in communicating findings of a longitudinal study was employed to illustrate implications of one of such study designs.