Descriptive studies

Descriptive research is a type of research method which explains the existing phenomenon without considering the causes of the phenomenon under the study. In this regard, the data is collected through investigating the effect of the phenomenon on the investigated the population. There is a need to consider the following three characteristics in descriptive research:

1. Demographic information of the population, including age, gender, race, marital status, and nutrition status

2. Spatial characteristics of the phenomenon, including geographical setting, city, and town

3. Temporal Characteristics of the investigated phenomenon, including seasonal, periodical, and time

Definition of some keywords

Rate: Rate is a relative index of measuring the phenomenon, which is estimated as a percentage. Rate is used to report incidence, pregnancy, and mortality. It is worth mentioning that time is an important factor in reporting the rate.


The incidence refers to the number of new cases that develop at a given time.


The prevalence refers to the total number of cases at a given time. The number includes both the new cases and the already developed ones at a given time.

Case report study

It is a close investigation of a phenomenon (e.g., disease, unique clinical status, symptoms) with the emphasis on the detailed report of the rare features of the investigated phenomenon. This type of study provides a comprehensive understanding of similar cases for future diagnosis.

Case series study

This study addresses a group of cases with atypical characteristics reporting by considering the similarities and scarcity of the features. The difference between the case report and cross sectional studies lies in the fact that case series studies deal with the precise observations of each feature. Therefore, it is hard to determine the total population of the study.

Cross sectional study

This type of study aims to quantitatively and qualitatively investigate a variable at a given time. Some examples include physical properties, habits, or socio-economic status of a population.

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