PH 312 Research Methods for Health Services Management

Course Description:
This course focuses on the concepts and principles of scientific quantitative research methods, particularly suitable in the domain of health services management. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation methods for health interventions, including preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic services. At the end of the course, students are expected to have developed a relevant research proposal which can be implemented thereafter.

  • Prerequisite Courses: None

A. PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES (PLOS):
The student will be able to:

  1. Recognize, describe and discuss and research about the basic principles and practices of the specialty
  2. List, discuss and demonstrate the essential public health functions or the specialty and its interrelationships with the other specialties and health disciplines at community and national levels
  3. Describe, discuss and research adult, children and family health issues at community level
  4. Discuss and demonstrate an understanding and practice of the speciality public health competencies
  5. Demonstrate proper public health skills for its practice in the community as a national specialty practitioner
  6. Discuss and demonstrate community and cultural sensitivity in the health care environment
  7. Describe, discuss and research the health determinants and problems of adults, children and families
  8. Demonstrate proper cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid techniques and other healing and patient care abilities
  9. Demonstrate the ability and discuss how to conduct a community diagnosis and need assessment of the health determinants of the specialty in a community
  10. Identify and demonstrate good practice in the specialty
  11. Have had management, planning experience and leadership role at a public health specialty at community and national levels.

B. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOS) - GENERAL
The student will be able to:

  1. Describe different research strategies and their application in health services management.
  2. Explain the importance of research in health services management
  3. Describe the principal strands of methodological research applicable in health services.
  4. Complete a research proposal which is relevant and feasible regarding local health services management.

SLO

PLO 1

PLO 2

PLO 3

PLO 4

PLO 5

PLO 6

PLO 7

PLO 8

PLO 9

PLO 10

PLO 11

1

M

D

 

D

M

 

 

 

 

D

 

2

M

D

 

D

M

 

 

 

 

D

 

3

M

D

 

D

M

 

 

 

 

D

 

4

M

D

 

D

M

 

 

 

 

D

 

I = Introduced
D = Demonstrated
M = Mastered

C. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOS) – SPECIFIC
The student will be able to:

General SLO 1: Describe different research strategies and their application in health services management.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

1.1. Define research.

1.2. Describe the categories of health research and the fundamental principles used in health services research.

1.3. Compare and contrast different research strategies.

1.4. Explain the applicability of each strategy in health services research.

Group discussions and oral reports to be graded according to a specified rubric
Individual assignments
Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes

General SLO 2: Explain the importance of research in health services management.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

2.1. Explain why there is a need for research in specific areas of health services.

2.2. Give practical examples in each area of health services under discussion.

2.3. Describe how health care interventions is evaluated.

2.4. Outline different types of systematic review in health services research.

2.5. Identify one or more systematic review papers in health services published in medical journals and/or health-related electronic data bases.

Group discussion and oral reports to be graded according to a specified rubric
Individual assignments
Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes

General SLO 3: Describe the principal strands of methodological research applicable in health services.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

3.1. Explain why there is a need to compare the costs and benefits of health services.

3.2. Outline the four principal applications of patient-assessed outcome measures in evaluative research.

3.3. Describe the range of methods available for evaluating health interventions.

3.4. Explain the purpose and application of secondary research.

3.5. Describe the role of statistical analysis in health research. .

Group discussions and oral reports to be graded according to a specified rubric
Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes



General SLO 4: Complete a research proposal which is relevant and feasible regarding local health services management

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

4.1. Identify a research question(s) related to local health care services.

4.2. Identity appropriate research method(s) to answer the question(s).

4.3. Construct the study design for the proposed research question.

4.4. Complete the relevant research proposal.

Group discussions and oral reports to be graded according to a specified rubric
Practice sets
Direct and multiple choice questions in examinations and quizzes

D. COURSE CONTENT

  1. Research and scientific methods
    1. Definition of research
    2. Categories of health research
      1. Empirical research and theoretical research
      2. Basic research and applied research
      3. The health research triangle
      4. Fundamental principles used in health services research: order; inference and chance; evaluation of probability; hypothesis formulation
      5. Study Design
      6. Research planning and management
      7. Research strategies
        1. Selection of research strategy
        2. Errors in the inference
          1. Reliability: reliablity of measurements and reliability of study
          2. Validity: systematic errors (bias) and random errors
        3. Experimental versus observational strategies
        4. Descriptive studies
          1. Case series
          2. Community diagnosis or assessment
          3. Epidemiological description of disease occurrence
          4. Descriptive cross-sectional or community (population) surveys
          5. Ecological descriptive studies
        5. Analytical studies
          1. Case-control studies
          2. Prospective cohort studies
          3. Historical (retrospective) cohort studies
          4. Prognostic cohort studies
          5. Analytical cross-sectional studies
          6. Ecological studies
        6. Comparision of the three major analytical strategies
        7. Choice of Strategy applicable in health services management
        8. Research health services
          1. How should health care interventions be evaluated?
          2. The need for research in specific areas of health care:
            1. Curative care
            2. Primary and community care
            3. Pharmaceuticals
            4. Diagnostics and imaging
            5. Population screening
          3. What does "systematic" mean for reviews of methods?
          4. Different types of systematic review in health services research
        9. Measurement of benefits and costs
          1. Patient-assessed outcome measures
          2. The use of health-related quality of life measures in economic evaluation
          3. Colleting resource use data in clinical studies
          4. Designing and using patient and staff questionnaires
        10. Methods of evaluating health care
          1. Choosing between randomized and non-randomized studies
          2. Factors that limit the number, quality, and progress of randomized trials
          3. Ethics of randomized trials
          4. Implications of sociocultural contexts related to the ethics of randomized trials
          5. Levels of evaluation of health care interventions
          6. Qualitative methods in health services research
        11. Presenting, interpreting, and synthesizing evidence
          1. Systematic reviews of randomized trials
          2. Handling uncertainty in economic evaluations of health care interventions
          3. Consensus development methods for creating clinical guidelines
        12. Statistical methods
          1. Basic statistical methods and the new developments
          2. An introduction to Bayesian methods in health services research
          3. Quality of life assessment and survival data
        13. Construction of a research proposal
          1. Generic construction of a research proposal
            1. Statement of the problem
            2. Relevance of the problem to national and local health activities
            3. Field(s) of application of the proposed results
            4. Review of literature and other existing information
            5. Statement of objectives
            6. Variables
            7. Statement of research hypothesis
            8. Research Methodology
            9. Budget
          2. tepwise construction of a research design using the WHO/WPRO format for a research proposal
          3. Example of a project description

        E. METHODS OF INSTRUCTION

        1. Lectures: in-class lectures
        2. Group discussions and exercises on the review of research papers on health services management.

        F. REQUIRED TEXT AND COURSE MATERIALS
        Black N., et al. (1998). Health services research methods: A guide to best practice (1st ed.). Sudburry, Massachusetts: BMJ Books. (or most recent edition)

        G. REFERENCE MATERIALS
        The World Health Organization. (2001). Health research methodology: A guide for training in research methods (2nd ed.). Geneva, Switzerland: WHO, WPRO. (or most recent edition).
        Brink H., Walt CVD. (2005). Fundamental of research methodologies for health-care professionals (2nd ed.). Cape Town, South Africa: Juta Academic. (or most recent edition)
        Hulley SB., et al. (2007) Designing clinical research (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Wolters Kluwer Health – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (or most recent edition)

        H. INSTRUCTIONAL COST
        none

        I. EVALUATION
        None

        J. CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
        None

         

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