HLTB15H3 Chapter 1: Chapter 1

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10 Aug 2016
Chapter 1 – Introduction: The Context for
Researching Health
What is Health Research?
Health research is divided broadly
1. Qualitative research method
2. Quantitative research method
Health research itself can take many
different forms depending on the purpose
of the research and its subject matter.
Different Types of Research: A Summary
Contextual/descriptive: providing
current information or intelligence
on a problem – for example, the
prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease.
Diagnostic/analytical: attempting an
explanation of phenomena based on
a notion of cause and effect – such
as accounting for changes in birth
Strategic: discovering implications,
assessing alternatives and finding
solutions – for example, in the
analysis of those at risk from a
universal vaccination program.
Evaluative: assessing the benefits
and costs of a specific programme or
course of action to those directly
concerned or the wider community
– as illustrated by the testing of a
new drug.
Developmental: studying the
implementation of programmes to
feedback information to enable
change – for example, on an anti-
smoking campaign.
Methodological: assessing methods
and techniques and developing new
ones – as in the case of finding new
means to diagnose particular
Conceptualizing Health: The Social and
Natural Sciences
- Social scientists view health as a
moral norm defining a socially
constructed, perspective standard
that tends towards an ideal of well-
being or social functioning.
Research for Policy
- Health research using a range of
methods may be undertaken not
only to gain an understanding of
health, illness and disease in
contemporary society, but also to
contribute to policy development.
- Governments worldwide invest
more extensively in health research
and associated health policies.
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