PHG 541 - Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health

Alternate Course Number 

HSERV 590 T

Course Description 

Health policy refers to decisions that guide organizational and individual behaviors affecting health and the financing, delivery, and use of health services.  In this class, we will explore the complex array of factors that affect health policy and the interaction of public policy with markets and the legal system, using contemporary public health issues as case examples.  We will examine how science and community values intertwine in health policy development, and how context (i.e., ideology, culture, and history) influence the structure of and changes to a nation’s health system. 

Course material will be presented through didactic presentations, case examples, in-class and on-line discussions, and written and oral assignments.

Course Objectives 

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the elements of the public policy process and describe their historical underpinnings
  2. Identify the players in the public policy process and compare their roles
  3. Apply the policy framework to public health and public health genetics issues
  4. Compare the roles of anecdote, advocacy, information, and research in the policy process
  5. Apply the basic concepts of microeconomics to public health genetics issues
  6. Describe the main steps in a cost effectiveness analysis and outline the challenges
  7. Identify the role of government in markets, and analyze how government activities affect resource allocation and distribution
  8. Analyze the interactions among public policy, economic markets, and the legal system

Example Syllabus