Understanding Research: An Overview for Health Professionals
This course is offered through Coursera — you can add it to your Accredible profile to organize your learning, find others learning the same thing and to showcase evidence of your learning on your CV with Accredible's export features.
Course Date: 18 August 2014 to 29 September 2014 (6 weeks)
Participants will learn the elements of research methods and design that are essential to the translation of knowledge into clinical practice, administration/leadership, and health policy.
Abbey Alkon, RN, PNP, PhD is a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. She is an epidemiologist and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and she works on multi-disciplinary, research teams. Her research focuses on understanding how children’s exposure to adversity early in life and their physiologic responsiveness to their environment effects their health. Her studies include children from ethnically-diverse, low income families. Dr. Alkon is an investigator at the University of California, Berkeley Center on Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) and Director of the California Childcare Health Program (CCHP). Dr. Alkon’s teams also provide service, education, and research to improve the health and safety for children attending child care programs in the U.S. At UCSF School of Nursing, Dr. Alkon teaches the Masters and Doctoral courses on Research Methods.
This course looks at the various aspects of research as it pertains to health.
The course objectives are as follows:
Summarize the format of research
articles and the research methods included in each section of an article.
Analyze and critique research
questions, study design, methods including sample selection, bias, data
collection procedures, measures, and analysis plan, results, discussion
and interpretation of findings.
Compare and contrast different quantitative
Analyze the validity and reliability
Understand the ethical and cultural
issues related to research methods.
Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will have the opportunity to receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.
Is this class eligible for Signature Track?
Yes. Prior to the beginning of the class, and during the first two weeks, students may sign up for Signature Track to earn a Verified Certificate. Details on Signature Track are available from Coursera in their Signature Track Guidebook.
Will Continuing Education credit for practicing physicians be available for this class?
No, Continuing Education credit will not be available for students participating in this course.
Week One: Sections of a Research Article, Abstracts, and the Introduction of a Paper (Literature Review, Significance of Problem, Research Questions, and Operational Definitions)
Identify the 4 sections of scientific research articles
Determine the purpose of the abstract
Identify the 2 key components of the introduction section of an article
Identify 3 elements of a research question
Understand why operational definitions are important
Week Two: Methods Section — Study Designs
Answer 5 questions to identify study designs
Understand the relation between types of study designs and the time frame of the study
Identify the data collection procedures by the study design
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of cohort, cross-sectional, and case-control study designs
Identify the strengths of probability versus
Determine inclusion versus exclusion criteria when
developing a plan for sample selection
Identify different types of instruments included in
Explain how instruments are determined to be valid and
Identify types of internal validity and reliability
Identify data collection procedures
Week Four: Methods Section —Bias, Types of Variables and Rates
(Incidence and Prevalence)
Identify types of bias related to all study designs
Identify types of bias specific to experimental studies
Determine the difference between parametric and
Differentiate categorical and continuous variables
Identify the difference between incidence and
Week Five: Ethical Issues, Human Subjects Committee / Institutional Review Boards, and the Discussion of a Paper (Clinical Implications, Limitations, and Future Studies)
Understand the history of research ethics
Determine the ethical lessons learned from the Tuskegee Study in the United States (U.S.)
Identify studies conducted in the U.S. that raised new ethical issues
Identify key components of the discussion section of a research article
Week Six: Final Exam
This course will consist of five weeks of lecture videos (approximately 60-90 minutes total per week), weekly homework (multiple choice exams and peer-assessed writing assignments), and a required final examination.
Polit DF. & Beck CT. (2012). Nursing
Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice (9th
Edition). Wolters Kluwer/ Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Hulley SB., Cummings SR., et al. (2013).
Designing Clinical Research (4th Edition.). Wolters Kluwer/ Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins.