Health Care Research Methods:
Design and Analysis

Compiled by Dr. A. David Mangelsdorff. Copyright ©1998-2012, A. David Mangelsdorff. All Rights Reserved.
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Course Description

This course covers basic and advance concepts, techniques, and technologies used in the scientific inquiry of applied clinical, administrative, and managerial research. Topics to be investigated include measurement theory and the scientific method, the research process, experimental design, hypothesis construction and testing, critical evaluation of health care research, questionnaire construction, rating scales, sampling, indices of validity and reliability, data collection, coding, and reduction, computer analysis, and interpretation of statistical results. Presentation of research findings, table construction, report writing, and briefing of results are covered.

Course Objectives

- To gain an appreciation of planning, conducting, interpreting, and evaluating theoretical and applied health care research.
- To discuss data sources, ethics, and scientific responsibility.
- To gain an appreciation of various experimental design procedures and analytic methods.
- To assess psychometrics (reliability and validity) of instruments.
- To critically review research publications.
- To conduct a research project, summarize the findings, and present the results at a scientific conference.


  • Cooper, D.R. and Schindler, P.S. (2002). Business Research Methods (8th Edition). Irwin/McGraw Hill.
  • Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S.G., & Aiken, L.S. (2003). Applied Multiple Regression/Correlation Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences (3rd Edition). Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. [optional]
  • Kerlinger, F.N. (1986). Foundations of Behavioral Research (3rd Edition). New York: Holt. [optional]
  • Mangelsdorff, A.D., & Finstuen, K. (2003). Patient satisfaction in military medicine: Status and an empirical test of a model. Military Medicine, 168(9), 744-49.
  • Mangelsdorff, A.D., Finstuen, K., Larsen, S.D., & Weinberg, E.J. (2005). Patient satisfaction in military medicine: Model refinement and assessment of Department of Defense effects. Military Medicine, 170(4), 309-14.
  • Publication Manual American Psychological Association (6th Edition). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (2010).
  • Stevens, J. (1995). Applied Multivariate Statistics for the Social Sciences (3rd Edition). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. [optional]
  • Trochim, W. M. (2006). The Research Methods Knowledge Base, 2nd Edition.
  • U.S. Army-Baylor University Graduate Program in Health Administration Residency Manual.


  • APA Style Resources
  • Electronic references in APA style 5th Edition
  • Web references in APA style
  • Research Methods & Statistics Links
  • Social Research Methods Knowledge Base (W. Trochim)
  • StatSoft Statistics
  • HyperStat Online
  • UCLA What Statistical Analysis Should I Use?
  • BMJ: Statistics at Square One
  • Library of Congress: Internet Search Engines
  • Congressional Budget Office
  • Annual Reviews
  • Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
  • UCLA Academic Technology Services SPSS Resources
  • Central Michigan Univ. SPSS(PASW) Training Workshop
  • Statnotes: Multivariate Analysis (G.D. Garson)
  • Engineering Statistics
  • Research Issues
  • Research Model
  • Research Methods Process
  • Research Methods Knowledge Data Base
  • Simple Interactive Statistical Analysis
  • Healthcare Administration Resources
  • Patient Administration Systems & Biostatistics Agency (PASBA)

    Literature Search

  • Medline
  • Google Scholar
  • Google
  • Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) Scientific and Technical Information Network
  • Electric Library
  • Baylor Remote BearCat
  • Government Printing Office
  • AMEDD Journal
  • AltaVista
  • HotBot
  • Yahoo!
  • Yahoo! People Search
  • BigFoot
  • Scientific Method
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research
  • Case Study Method
  • Meta-analysis

    Formulating the Question/Research Process

  • Research Methods Base
  • Problem Formulation
  • Operational definitions
  • Variables
  • Levels of Measurement
  • Dependent and Independent Variables
  • Problem Statement
  • Purpose of Study
  • Hypothesis
  • Research Proposal


  • Sampling
  • Probability Sampling
  • Response Methods
  • Pretesting
  • Pilot Testing
  • Scaling
  • Psychometrics
  • Reliability
  • Validity
  • Multitrait Multimethod Matrix
  • Practicality
  • Accuracy
  • Cronbach's alpha
  • Inter-rater reliability

    Experimental Design

  • Data Mining Tools
  • Research Design
  • Data Analysis
  • Research Objectives
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Inferential Statistics
  • Exploratory Studies
  • Causal Studies
  • Measurement Scales
  • Error Sources
  • Experimental Design
  • What Statistic?


  • Sampling
  • Sample Size
  • Stratified Sampling
  • Likert Scale
  • Thurstone Scales
  • Osgood's Semantic Differential

    Data Collection/Interpretation

  • Data Preparation
  • Non Response
  • Missing Values/cells
  • Choosing the Statistical Test
  • Interpreting Statistical Tests
  • Non Parametric Statistics
  • Parametric Statistics
  • Correlation Analysis
  • Precision of Estimate
  • Z score
  • Significance Level
  • Statistical Power


  • Write-up
  • Bibliography

    Template for Evaluating Research


    a. Conditions which prompted the study
    b. Statement of the Problem or Question
    c. Literature Review should:
    ... provide details relevant to specific hypotheses
    ... define dependent variable(s)
    ... clarify range of variables for consideration
    ... list designs and analyses previously used
    ... provide range of findings and alternatives found for particular designs
    ... provide meta-analyses and reviews of topic
    ... provide current articles and the major works on a topic
    d. Purpose (Variables/Working Hypothesis)
    e. Type study: quantitative or qualitative
    f. Model used (how supported by literature)

    Method and Procedures

    a. Subjects
    ... criteria for inclusion and/or exclusion of subjects
    b. Design
    ... population, sample size, confidence levels
    ... control groups
    ... how will analysis for each hypothesis be conducted?
    c. Definition of variables
    ... criteria for inclusion and/or exclusion of subjects
    ... dependent variable: how specifically measured
    ... (if cost is a concern, how is it quantified?)
    ... independent variable(s): how measured
    ... how are missing values handled?
    d. Analyses
    ... general considerations might include "how do gender, age, educational level,
    ...... health or disease stage, or experience affect the hypotheses?"
    ... if surveys used, how are scale end points labeled?
    ... is the analysis appropriate to the hypothesis?
    ... were appropriate statistics used?
    ... are the tables and figures clearly labeled (they should stand alone)?
    e. Schedule/procedures/time considerations
    f. Psychometrics (reliability and validity)
    g. Ethical considerations (informed consent)

    Findings and Discussion

    ... what are specific findings?
    ... what were response rates?
    ... how representative is the sample?
    ... how were missing values and non-responders treated?
    ... how much variance is accounted for by the variables?
    ... is there a finding for each hypothesis?
    ... discussion should tie together the hypothesis, findings, and literature reviews
    ...... relevant to the specific hypothesis
    ... discussions should clarify and suggest directions for future research


    ... one conclusion for each hypothesis

    SPSS Research Guide


    If you have comments, questions, or need further information, please contact me.

    A. David Mangelsdorff, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Army-Baylor Graduate Program in Health & Business Admin.
    Department of Health Services Administration (MCCS-HFB)
    AMEDD Center & School - 3151 Scott Road
    Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-6135

    Phone: 1 210 221 6756 or 6345
    Fax: 1 210 221 6051 or 8680