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Course Catalog


Term: 3rd term
Credits: 3 credits
Contact: Renan Castillo
Academic Year: 2014 - 2015

Introduces basic principles and methods for undertaking scientifically rigorous research with a special emphasis on evaluations of interventions intended to improve health and safety. Focuses on evaluations of health policies, health care delivery systems, and public health programs. Also prepares students to apply the results of health policy research done by others. Topics include the relationship between health services research, health policy research, health policy analysis and health program management; approaches for assessing the impact of health policy and health program implementation; common research designs and their strengths and weaknesses; measurement issues of reliability and validity; survey research techniques; qualitative research methods; quality of care and outcomes measurement; use of existing health and safety data; and basic cost benefit and effectiveness analysis.

Learning Objective(s):
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
Critique published health services research and health policy/program evaluations
Develop an appropriate study design for a research or evaluation project
Describe the relationship between health services research and program evaluation
Identify differences between basic and policy-relevant health services research projects and program evaluation
Develop a conceptual framework for a study, showing the hypothesized causal variables and the expected outcomes
Identify different types of study design, including observational, pre-experimental and experimental designs, and their inherent threats to internal and external validity
Describe the basic issues related to measurement of variables
Identify problems with measurement reliability and validity
Identify aspects of quality of care and its measurement as they relate to health services research projects
Discuss how survey research is used in health services research and evaluation, in terms of choice of sampling techniques, determination of sample size, and approaches to writing survey questions
Demonstrate discuss of the basic concepts of cost benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis
Identify and use appropriate secondary data and existing information sources in research projects

Methods of Assessment: Student evaluation based on mid-term and final exams submitted at the conclusion of the 4th term.
Location: East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Tuesday 9:00 - 10:20
  • Thursday 9:00 - 10:20
Final grade applies to all terms
Enrollment Minimum: 10
Enrollment Restriction: Restricted to graduate students only
Instructor Consent: No consent required
Auditors Allowed: No
Grading Restriction: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Special Comments: Students must register for 1 of 3 labs sections