Students are provided with an overview of key aspects of health services research including an introduction to research methods, critical appraisal, epidemiology, ethics, and the Canadian health system.
Students will become familiar with the research process with the basic aim of developing skills to critically evaluate the work of others and to understand possible approaches in the design of their own research projects. The emphasis will be on formulating research questions and determining strategies that may be used to address a particular research theme; understanding how various qualitative and quantitative research techniques may be used to address research questions that the students have posed. A broad research topic will be chosen and students will target their work towards developing research questions and designing research plans to address specific aspects of this theme.
This course will explore the development of the philosophy of the determinants of health, and identify the determinants of health and their relationship with health status. As the course unfolds, students will gain an understanding of the philosophical underpinnings, as well as understanding their inter-relationships. An understanding of the complexity of developing healthy public policy that addresses multiple determinants of health will be developed by students, as well as the consideration of the implications of policy from the perspective of the determinants of health.
Students will explore the process of how Canadian Health Policy is developed, implemented and evaluated. This course will also assist in building skills in the areas of research approach, critical appraisal, policy synthesis, and briefing notes. The course will follow a case based approach to understand the implications of political, social, ethical, and economic factors/actors/stakeholders.
Exploration of the facilitators and barriers of using evidence in decision-making, as well as developing the students’ understanding of the conceptual, philosophical, and theoretical underpinnings of knowledge transfer and research uptake. Students will also learn how to create ongoing/sustainable linkages with decision makers and how to share research findings with academic and non-academic audiences. Topics explored include Evidence Based Decision-Making, barriers and facilitators, and why evidence is not used in decision-making. The course will look at how to encourage, decision-makers to use research evidence through behavioural change, social marketing, and sustainable linkages.
Students will build on the foundation developed in AHSR 6003 with a more in-depth examination of ontological and epistemological assumptions underpinning the various qualitative research approaches and developing requisite skills for completing qualitative research. Students will gain practical experience in interviewing, participant observation and analysis of qualitative data. Students will also develop an appreciation of how to write grant proposals using qualitative approaches and continue to refine their ability to critique qualitative research. Topics explored will include many of those addressed in AHSR 6003 but the focus will shift to comparing and contrasting research issues for various qualitative approaches versus comparing and contrasting them to quantitative research.
This course will expose students to a variety of more advanced quantitative and statistical approaches to research methodology. The two main purposes of the course are to provide students with the tools to conduct advanced quantitative empirical research, and to further develop their ability to critically evaluate the work of others. Students will learn to examine issues and develop research strategies to begin to identify and answer important topics that need to be researched and students will design a realistic appraisal of what can be achieved and what cannot, given resource constraints.
Students are introduced to the historical and contemporary forces affecting Indigenous health. Students build an understanding of Indigenous models of health and healing, community wellness and cultural safety to promote equitable healthcare practice, research and policy as well as explore tools for "Allyship".
Students focus on how big data can be used in health care decision-making by examining how Big Data is created, stored, linked, and used to inform health and social research. Emerging issues such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and research ethics will also be explored.
Under the guidance of the research thesis Supervisor in conjunction with the other Supervisory Committee members, students conduct a piece of scholarly research, which is defended before an academic audience and members drawn from the broader health community. See Section 2 of the Graduate Academic Calendar for the regulations and requirements for thesis at Saint Mary’s University.
Students undertake a 240 hour research residency with a decision-making organization. The residency is designed to provide hands-on research and decision- making experience, and to develop and understanding of how knowledge is transferred between the academic community and decision-makers.
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