Nearly all research questions of interest to E4A relate to establishing causality: if we intervene to change some system, policy, or action, will this deliver improvements in health or health equity? Quantitative methods for evaluating causal research questions, as opposed to questions that are merely predictive or descriptive, have developed rapidly since the 1980s. Most study designs fall within what we term instrument-based or confound-control designs. This note provides an overview, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages.

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