Many cross-sectional studies of neighbourhood effects on health do not employ strong study design elements. The Neighbourhood Effects on Health and Well-being (NEHW) study, a random sample of 2,412 English-speaking Toronto residents (age 25-64), utilises strong design features for sampling neighbourhoods and individuals, characterising neighbourhoods using a variety of data sources, measuring a wide range of health outcomes, and for analysing cross-level interactions. We describe here methodological issues that shaped the design and analysis features of the NEHW study to ensure that, while a cross-sectional sample, it will advance the quality of evidence emerging from observational studies.
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Research and statistical methods