HCSCRS02: Research Methods in Primary Care


Unit 1: Principles of original research in primary care (on-line Moodle)
• Nature and scope of research in primary care
• Framing hypothesis-driven questions
• Appropriateness of different research methods (including qualitative and quantitative methods), different types of research design
• Introducing the hierarchy of evidence
• Principles of critical appraisal

Unit 2: Qualitative research methods
• The qualitative ‘toolkit': different forms of qualitative research
• Setting up, running and reporting a qualitative study
• Triangulation methods for validation of qualitative data
• Accepting and rejecting research findings: validity, reliability and relevance in qualitative research

Unit 3: Design and use of questionnaires (on-line Moodle)

• Selecting a questionnaire from the published literature
• Developing draft questionnaires using qualitative methods
• Piloting and refining questionnaires
• Accepting and rejecting research findings: critical appraisal of papers describing questionnaire development and use
• Questionnaires in ‘difficult groups' (e.g. the socially excluded)

Unit 4: Quantitative research methods (taught component plus on-line Moodle resources)

• Quantitative research designs, including randomised controlled trials, non-randomised comparative trials, cohort studies, and other observational designs
• Statistical approaches to sampling and data analysis
• Quantifying effects of bias, confounding, and chance variation
• Accepting and rejecting research findings: problems of sample size, bias, confounding, and validity
• Introduction to systematic review and meta-analysis

Unit 5: Outline research proposal
• Development of an outline proposal for student's proposed research project.


Formative assessment (Mandatory): Outline research proposal of 1500 words.
Summative assessment: 1 assignment of 2-2500 words; test under exam conditions.

Page last modified on 09 sep 11 18:24 by Kea E Young