What public health issue would you like to explore using a research study

  • What public health issue would you like to explore using a research study?
  • What are some considerations that researchers face when designing a study?

Discussion Instructions:

Follow the steps below. The underlined segments prompt you to know what specific information you need to write next to each number when you write your answer in the discussion board. Your Coach will post an example answer on the discussion board. 

1) Choose a topic: Choose a public health problem that you would like to investigate. Briefly state the health issue. 

2) Research the topic: Read general background information about  your topic using reliable websites such as those belonging to a federal agency (e.g., Health Services and Resources Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bureau of Primary Health Care), respected national organization (e.g., American Heart Association, American Cancer Association, Kaiser Family Foundation), and/or peer-reviewed journal articles.

3) Document Prevalence and/or Incidence: Find and write the prevalence or incidence of the condition using one or more of your reliable websites or articles. Cite the source for the prevalence or incidence next to it.

4) Hypothesize: Considering what you have learned about the health issue you’ve chosen, consider the possible risk factors for the condition, means of prevention, and potential outcomes. Write a carefully considered hypothesis about one risk factor or means of prevention (this is the “exposure) that you could test which has not, based on what you read, been widely studied.

5) Design your study: Once you have your hypothesis, design a study that you could do to test your hypothesis.  Imagine that time, money, and logistics are unlimited and you have all the resources you need at your disposal.  Include the following information:

5a. Who are your study participants?

5b. How would you collect or obtain your data?

5c. What time of study design would you use? (e.g., cohort, case-control, observational, or randomized control trial)

5d. Why is this design (your answer to 5c) an appropriate study design for your study?

5e. Into which category of study design does your study design fall? (experimental, quasi-experimental, observational)

5f. What elements of your study justify inclusion into the category of study design you wrote for 5d? (e.g., is there manipulation? randomization?)


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