A continuous study tracks participants and related datasets over time, but does not include the timepoint or visit-based structure available in observational or cohort studies
. Participants may enter the study at any point and data is collected in a continuous stream. Primate research centers tracking electronic health records (EHR) for their animals are typical users of continuous studies.
To create a continuous study within the UI, create a new study folder and select Continuous
as the "timepoint style".
The study still utilizes a start date and may also have an end date, though it is not required. To see and adjust these dates, select Admin > Manage Study
Proceed to create a new study
and set up the datasets you require, though skipping any steps related to visit or timepoint mapping. Note that the resulting study will not have some features like the study schedule. Creating time chart visualizations based on automatic timepoint tracking will also not always work in continuous studies. However, users defining charts can still choose which dates to use for interval calculations by configuring the measures' end dates as described for time charts
Changing the timepoint style for a study
Once you have selected the timepoint style for your study, it cannot be changed within the user interface. If you made a mistake and need to change it right away, you may be able to export the study, change the value of timepointType in the study.xml file, and reimport the archive. Other adjustments within your study will likely be required after making this type of fundamental change.