Research Methods for the Health Sciences;

Research Methods for the Health Sciences;Module 1 Background
THE RESEARCH QUESTION, LITERATURE REVIEW, AND RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Required Reading
Available via ProQuest:
Blazer, D.G. (2007). Religious beliefs, practices and mental health outcomes: What is the research question? American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 15, 269-272. Retrieved February 23, 2012
Chien, A., Coker, T., Choi, L., Slora, E., Bodnar, P., Weiley, V., . . .Johnson, J. (2006).What do pediatric primary care providers think are important research questions? A perspective from PROS providers.Ambulatory Pediatrics, 6, 352-355. Retrieved February 23, 2012
Newton, J.T., Bower, E.J., & Williams, A.C. (2004). Research in primary dental care part 2: Developing a research question. British Dental Journal, 196, 605-608. Retrieved February 23, 2012Module 1 Case
THE RESEARCH QUESTION, LITERATURE REVIEW, AND RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Case Assignment
Newton, Bower, and Williams (2004) outline the process of devising and revising a research question, be it descriptive, relational, or comparative. After reading their paper, write a three-page paper that addresses the following:
1. How do descriptive research questions differ from questions of relationship? From questions of comparison?
2. How should a researcher determine if prior research exists on her intended research topic?
3. What factors should be used to gauge the quality of previous research? Why are these important in making this assessment?
4. Should formulation of a research question precede or follow consultation with the scholarly literature? Please explain.
Assignment Expectations
You are expected to consult the scholarly literature in preparing your paper; you are also expected to incorporate relevant background readings.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 3 pages typed, double-spaced.
Module 1 SLP
THE RESEARCH QUESTION, LITERATURE REVIEW, AND RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The SLP for this course is designed to allow you to apply the research concepts and principles introduced throughout this course to a real-world health problem. As such, you will be asked to devise your own research question, to use the empirical literature to identify knowledge gaps in the field with regard to that research question, formulate a corresponding research hypothesis, propose an appropriate study design for testing that research hypothesis, and devise a sampling and recruitment plan to strengthen the generalizability of your studys findings. In Module 5, you will upload a final paper consisting of all of these elements.
Your Task for this Assignment
After reading the background materials for this module, select one of the following research topics and derive a corresponding research question. Next, write a 2- to 3-page paper in which you identify your research question and apply the Attributes of a Good Research Question:
Obesity and Diabetes Risk
Physical Activity and Stroke Risk
Health Insurance Status and Health Care Utilization
Education and Mortality Risk
Drug Addiction and Criminal Behavior
Cancer Therapy [1] and Tumor Growth
Your paper should clearly delineate the extent to which each of the following criteria has been satisfied in formulating your research question:
Relevance
Novelty
Focus
Consisting of two core concepts (at minimum)
Feasibility
SLP Assignment Expectations
You are expected to consult the scholarly literature in preparing your paper; you are also expected to incorporate relevant background readings.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 2-3 pages typed, double-spaced.
Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable source of information.
[1] Select a specific therapy type, e.g., gene therapy, chemotherapy, etc.
Module 2 Background
STUDY DESIGNS
Required Reading
Available via the Internet:
Jepsen, P., Johnsen, S.P., Gillman, M.W., & Sorensen, H.T. (2004). Interpretation of observational studies. Heart, 90,956-960. Retrieved from http://heart.bmj.com/content/90/8/956.full.pdf Retrieved February 23, 2012.
Module 2 Case
STUDY DESIGNS
Case Assignment
Health science researchers have long believed the randomized controlled trial (RCT) to be the gold standard of study designs. There are many reasons for their contention that an RCT should be preferred to any of the observational study designs. However, there are also instances in which employment of this design would be inappropriate.
In a four-page paper, discuss the merits of the RCT as a study design with regard to:
1. Internal validity
2. Confounding
3. Feasibility/appropriateness
4. External validity
Assignment Expectations
You are expected to consult the scholarly literature in preparing your paper; you are also expected to incorporate relevant background readings.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 4 pages typed, double-spaced.
Module 2 SLP
STUDY DESIGNS
The next step in the research process is immersing oneself in the empirical literature on your research topic to determine the extent to which your research question (identified in Module 1) has been addressed. To this end, please use the Trident University Online Library to conduct a literature search on your research topic.
Remember, your goal is to discover the extent to which a knowledge gap exists with regard to your specific research question. Locate five peer-reviewed journal articles that present studies relevant to your topic, and synthesize these into a four-page paper that summarizes the current state of knowledge with regard to your research question. Note specifically,
1. Study findings relative your research question (positive, negative, and inconclusive)
2. Any additional questions left unanswered by these studies
3. How addressing your research question would help to fill a knowledge gap (should your research question fall short of this, you may need to propose an alternative one)
4. The specific population to which your study will apply (and ultimately, your studys targeted sample)
SLP Assignment Expectations
You are expected to consult the scholarly literature in preparing your paper; you are also expected to incorporate relevant background readings.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 4 pages typed, double-spaced.
Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable source of information.
Module 3 Background
SAMPLING
Required Reading
Available via ProQuest:
Nokes, K.M., & Nwakeze, P.C. (2007). Exploring research issues: In using a random sampling plan with highly marginalized populations. The Journal of Multicultural Nursing and Health, 13(1), 6-9. Retrieved February 23, 2012
Wolf, H.K., Kuulasma, K., Tolonen, H., Sans, S., Molarius, A., & Eastwood, B.J. (2005). Effect of sampling frames on response rates in the WHO MONICA risk factor surveys. European Journal of Epidemiology, 20, 293-299. Retrieved February 23, 2012
Available via the Internet:
Trochim, W.M.K. (2006). Sampling terminology. Retrieved from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/sampterm.php Retrieved February 23, 2012
Module 3 Case
SAMPLING
Case Assignment
Read the background materials for this module and, after doing so, address the following questions in a four-page paper:
1. The sampling frame is arguably the most critical element of a studys sampling plan. Why is this so?
2. How might a poorly specified sampling frame forestall the research process?
3. Are studies that employ convenience sampling invalid? Please explain.
4. Of the sampling methods presented in this module, which optimize external validity (if this term is unfamiliar, revisit the Module 2 home page)? Please explain.
Assignment Expectations
You are expected to consult the scholarly literature in preparing your paper; you are also expected to incorporate relevant background readings.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 4 pages typed, double-spaced.
Module 3 SLP
SAMPLING
Suppose that your research topic is milk consumption and bone fracture risk. A corresponding research question would thus be: What is the relationship between daily consumption of milk and bone fracture risk?
A review of the empirical literature suggests that milk consumption may decrease the likelihood of bone fracture, but findings reported are limited to women ages 65 and above. You would like to examine this relationship in a different segment of the population; lets say school-aged youths. Given that prior research suggests a relationship exists, you might hypothesize the following:
Research Hypothesis (one-tailed):
Ho: School-aged youths who consume milk on a daily basis are equally as likely or more likely (than those who do not) to experience bone fractures.
Ha: School-aged youths who consume milk on a daily basis are less likely to experience bone fractures.
where Ho reflects the null hypothesis and Ha the alternative hypothesis, which corresponds to the outcome that you, the researcher, expect to observe. Another way of stating your hypothesis would be in two-tailed format, i.e.,
Research Hypothesis (two-tailed):
Ho: There is no relationship between daily milk consumption and bone fracture risk among school-aged youths.
Ha: There is a relationship between daily milk consumption and bone fracture risk among school-aged youths.
(Two-tailed hypotheses are used in instances in which a research is not able to anticipate the direction of a hypothesized relationship.)
Your Specific Task for this Assignment
Using the examples provided about, formulate your own research hypothesis corresponding to the research question you selected in Module 1. Add this to the previous components of your SLP, ensuring that there is consistency from research question-to-literature review-to- research hypothesis. (Your research hypothesis should correspond directly to your research question; if this is not the case, please revise either accordingly.)
Upload the resultant document, which should be 6-7 pages in length, for my review.
SLP Assignment Expectations
Ensure that there is alignment across the three components of your project, i.e., research question, literature review, research hypothesis.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 6-7 pages typed, double-spaced.
Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable source of information.
Module 4 Background
TYPES OF VARIABLES
Required Reading
Available via the Internet:
Trochim, W.M.K. (2006). Variables. Retrieved from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/variable.php Retrieved February 23, 2012
Trochim, W.M.K. (2006). Levels of measurement. Retrieved from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/measlevl.php Retrieved February 23, 2012
Module 4 Case
TYPES OF VARIABLES
Case Assignment
A researcher wishes to operationalize her study variables in the following manner. How might she go about doing so? Summarize your responses in tabular form (see example below), and supplement your table with a supporting narrative.
Age (continuous)
Gender (dichotomous)
Ethnicity (categorical)
Education (ordinal)
Income (continuous)
Marital status (categorical)
Weight (continuous)
Blood pressure (continuous)
Hypertension (dichotomous)
Body temperature (continuous)
Health insurance status (categorical)
Smoking status (dichotomous)
Cancer Stage (ordinal)
EXAMPLE:
Variable:
Name Type How operationalized How measured
Age
Etc. continuous Age in years How old were you on your last birthday?
Narrative: When age is operationalized in this manner, one would merely need to query the respondent to determine the age she turned on her last birthday. Alternatively, the researcher could ask the respondent to provide his birth date and year, and then calculate age at a later time.
Assignment Expectations
You are expected to incorporate relevant background readings into your responses.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at theend. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 2-3 pages typed, double-spaced.
Module 4 SLP
TYPES OF VARIABLES
Once a research hypothesis is formulated, the researcher must decide upon an appropriate study design to test that hypothesis. In doing so, she must take into consideration the extent to which that design will optimize the internal validity of her study findings (refer again the discussion of internal validity in Module 2). Also to be considered are the practical factors that may facilitate or inhibit implementation of particular study designs, e.g., limited access to ones target population over time due to transiency among prospective research subjects may preclude adoption of a cohort study design.
Your Task for this Assignment
With the aforementioned factors in mind, identify a study design (experimental or observational) that would be appropriate to test your studys research hypothesis, and address the following questions in a three-page essay:
1. What are the components of this design?
2. Would this design be considered experimental or observational? Why?
3. Why did you choose this design over others? Be sure to note all advantages and disadvantages of employing this design to address your particular research question.
4. To what types of bias is this design most vulnerable? Please explain.
SLP Assignment Expectations
You are expected to consult the scholarly literature in preparing your paper; you are also expected to incorporate relevant background readings.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 3 pages typed, double-spaced.
Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable source of information.
Module 5 Background
DATA ANALYSIS
Required Reading
Available via ProQuest:
Song, H., Han, H., Lee, J., Kim, J, Kim, K.B., Ryu, J.P., & Kim, M. (2010). Does access to care still affect health care utilization by immigrants? Testing of an empirical explanatory model of health care utilization by Korean American immigrants with high blood pressure. Journal of Immigrant Minority Health, 12, 513-519. Retrieved February 23, 2012
Available via the Internet:
Trochim, W.M.K. (2006). Descriptive statistics. Retrieved from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/statdesc.php Retrieved February 23, 2012
Trochim, W.M.K. (2006). Correlation. Retrieved from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/statcorr.php Retrieved February 23, 2012
Trochim, W.M.K. (2006). The T-Test. Retrieved from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/stat_t.php Retrieved February 23, 2012
Module 5 Case
DATA ANALYSIS
Case Assignment
Please read the following article, and address the questions that appear below in a four- page paper:
Song, H., Han, H., Lee, J., Kim, J, Kim, K.B., Ryu, J.P., & Kim, M. (2010). Does access to care still affect health care utilization by immigrants? Testing of an empirical explanatory model of health care utilization by Korean American immigrants with high blood pressure. Journal of Immigrant Minority Health, 12, 513-519.
1. What research question did the authors set out to answer?
2. What research hypothesis was tested in this study?
3. What study design was employed in the study? What (if any) type of bias is inherent to this design?
4. Summarize the univariate findings displayed in Table 1.
5. Summarize the bivariate findings reported in Table 2.
6. What limitations were noted with regard to the studys findings and conclusions?
Assignment Expectations
You are expected to incorporate relevant background readings into your responses.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 4 pages typed, double-spaced.
Module 5 SLP
DATA ANALYSIS
Before any study can be undertaken, the researcher must determine what exactly will constitute the studys target population, sample frame, and sample (if any of these terms is unfamiliar to you, I strongly encourage you to revisit the discussion of sampling in Module 3 as this information provides the foundation necessary to complete this SLP assignment). Also to be considered how he will go about recruiting subjects into his study.
Your Task for this Assignment
Discuss the following as it pertains to your study in 3-4 pages; incorporate this discussion into a 12-15 page final paper consisting of all prior SLP components.
1. A sampling plan for your study to address the research question your chose in Module 1. Be sure to outline clearly your studys-
a. target population
b. sampling frame
c. sample
2. A recruitment strategy for enlisting participation prospective research subjects in your study
SLP Assignment Expectations
You are expected to consult the scholarly literature in preparing your paper; you are also expected to incorporate relevant background readings.
Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read ALL required background materials.
Be sure to cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been address clearly and completely.
Length: 12-15 pages typed, double-spaced.
Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable source of information.
MSHS Information Literacy Rubric:
Criteria Level 4 Excellent Level 3 Proficient Level 2 Developing Level 1 Emerging
Assignment-Driven Criteria 20 points
Demonstrates mastery covering all key elements of the assignment in a substantive way. 17 points
Demonstrates considerable proficiency covering all key elements of the assignment. 15 points
Demonstrates partial proficiency covering all key elements of the assignment. 12 points
Demonstrates limited or poor proficiency covering all key elements of the assignment.
Use of Information to Support Arguments (effective use of information): The student effectively uses resources to support ideas, convey understanding of the topic and shape the whole work. 10 points
Demonstrates mastery in retrieving information, using strong and compelling content to support ideas, convey understanding of the topic, and shape the whole work. 9 points
Demonstrates considerable proficiency in retrieving information, and in using appropriate and relevant content to support ideas, and convey understanding of the topic. Few arguments left unsupported. 7 points
Demonstrates partial proficiency to retrieve information and use of relevant content to support ideas, but leaves many arguments unsupported. May use immaterial or disparate content in an attempt to support arguments. 6 points
Demonstrates inability to retrieve information, or use appropriate or relevant content to support ideas, convey understanding of the topic and shape the whole work. Makes unsupported arguments and assertions.
Citing Sources: The student effectively cites sources. 5 points
Demonstrates mastery using in-text citations of sources, proper format for quotations, and correctly format full source information in the reference list using APA style (bibliography). 4 points
Demonstrates considerable proficiency using of in-text citations of sources, proper format for quotations, and provides sufficient source information in the reference list, though not in APA format (bibliography). 3 points
Demonstrates occasional use of in-text citations of sources and provides partial reference information (bibliography). 2 points
Demonstrates inability to cite sources or provide full source information in the reference list (bibliography).
Scholarly Writing: The student communicates proficiently with others through scholarly writing and skilled, knowledgeable presentation to general and specialized audiences. 5 points
Demonstrates mastery in scholarly written communication and a skilled and knowledgeable presentation to an appropriately specialized audience. 4 points
Demonstrates considerable proficiency in written communication with well-organized presentation to an appropriately specialized audience. 3 points
Demonstrate partial proficiency in written communication with few grammatical or syntax errors, but may be pitched at the wrong audience. 2 points
Demonstrates limited or poor ability to write clearly using poor grammar and syntax. Text is disorganized and rambling.
Critical Thinking: The student develops skills to critically evaluate information sources. 10 points
Demonstrates mastery in critically evaluating information sources. 9 points
Demonstrates considerable proficiency in critically evaluating information sources. 7 points
Demonstrates some ability to critically evaluate information sources. 6 points
Demonstrates limited or poor proficiency to critically evaluate information sources.
Overall Score Level 4
45 or more Level 3
40 or more Level 2
35 or more Level 1
0 or more