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Public Health, Coursework Example

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Coursework

Post a response to the following (type out each question and provide answers underneath):

 

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the research methodology presented in Brownson et al. (2007)?

The quasi-experimental design brings several strengths to the study.  First, the study enables an assessment of the intervention methods to understand the program in greater detail.  In the example of this study, it allows one to draw general conclusions regarding the efficacy of approaching state versus local health department bureaucrats.

A main weakness of the quasi-experimental design is the inability to control for confounders and assess claims of causality. That is, although the survey instrument might show a palpable change in the pre- and post-interview states, this could be due to a number of reasons not related to the dissemination program.  The inability to understand causality and to make generalizations based on this study to a larger population, is the main limitation of the quasi experimental study methodology.

 

  • What value did using a quasi-experimental design add to the research study?

The main value of the quasi-experimental design is to provide a rough assessment of the different dissemination methods.  In the study, three different dissemination methods were used to distribute evidence- based information on physical activity: workshops, technical assistance, and cds.  The quasi-experimental study allowed a survey to be issued, and a pre-post statistical analysis to assess whether there was a statistically significant change in practitioners’ attitudes.

3)How does this impact the validity of the research paper?

Internal validity is extremely hard to assess in a quasi-experimental design.  That is, because there is not randomization, there are numerous factors that could confound the relationship between the intervention and the increased result in awareness.  External validity is also limited.  Because confounders cannot be eliminated, there is no guarantee that the result in the eight states can be replicated anywhere else- although the survey might point to potential factors that made the intervention successful or unsuccessful.

  • What do you believe is the best strategy for disseminating research results? Support your position?

I think the best strategy for disseminating research results is a workshop.  As the pre-post results show, there was a substantial pick-up among local health bureaucrats after the workshop.  This would be a good place to start in order to pursue further dissemination research.

 

References:

Brownson, R.C., Ballew, P., Brown, K.L., Elliot, M.B., Halre- Joshu, D. Heath, G.W., Kreuter, M.W.  (2007). The effect of disseminating evidence-based interventions that promote physical activity to health departments.  American Journal of Public Health, 97(10), 1900-1907.

Creswell, J. (2008). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches.  Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Press.

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