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Division on Addiction Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance

Research Methods for Health Professionals: An Introductory Course

Tuesday, November 13 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Macht Auditorium, Cambridge Hospital campus, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA.
For additional information email Dr. Heather Gray at hgray@challiance.org.

Instructors – Heather Gray, PhD & Sarah Nelson, PhD
Co-Instructors – Debi LaPlante, PhD, Julia Braverman, PhD, and Matthew Tom, PhD, Division on Addiction Faculty and Staff

The Division on Addiction offers a special one-day course that will provide an introduction to research methods for health professionals. The course faculty specializes in research on addiction and will present examples and case studies from this standpoint, but lessons learned will be relevant across health care fields. This course will provide an understanding of research methodology necessary for participants wishing to supplement their clinical activities with research. It will also give students the tools to become critical consumers of research, a first step toward integrating evidence-based medicine into practice.

Topics will include:
Sample selection, survey research and design, reliability and validity, self report issues, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, correlation and causation, longitudinal design, statistical inference, human subject issues, preparing manuscripts, and grant funding.

The primary goal of this course is to provide participants with the tools necessary to be critical consumers of research and (if desired) begin to design their own research. By the end of the course, participants will be able to critically evaluate empirical research, identify critical components and potential pitfalls of research designs, determine the appropriate research design for a given research question, and explore potential sources of funding for their own research.

Participation is open to clinicians, trainees and allied health professionals interested in conducting or better understanding research.


Content forthcoming. Please reference the last course offering for more details.

 


Research Methods for the Social Sciences: An Introductory Course

Next Offering November 13, 2012.
For additional information email Dr. Sarah Nelson at snelson@hms.harvard.edu.

Course Director – Sarah Nelson, PhD
Faculty – Heather Gray, PhD
Faculty – John Kleschinsky, MPH
Faculty – Julia Braverman, PhD
Faculty – Debi LaPlante, PhD
Faculty – Ryan Martin, PhD

The Division on Addiction offers a special course that will provide an introduction to research methodology in the social sciences, presented within the context of the addictions. The course will be tailored to the participants, providing hands-on feedback for participants attempting to design their own research and/or providing an understanding of research methodology necessary for participants wishing to become critical consumers of research.

The primary goal of this course is to provide participants with the tools necessary to be critical consumers of research and (if desired) begin to design their own research. By the end of the course, participants will be able to critically evaluate empirical research, identify critical components and potential pitfalls of research designs, and determine the appropriate research design for a given research question.


Class 1 – Sarah Nelson / Course Introduction

Class 2 – Heather Gray / Research Design Overview

  • Ferguson, E., Farrell, K., & Lawrence, C. (2008). Blood donation is an act of benevolence rather than altruism. Health Psychology, 27(3), 327-336. [This article provides a nice example of multiple methods being used to examine one research question.]
     

  • Click here to download the PowerPoint Presentation.

Class 3 – John Kleschinsky / Research Design Part II – Data Collection and Procedures

  • Kleschinsky, J. H., Bosworth, L. B., Nelson, S. E., Walsh, E. K., & Shaffer, H. J. (2009). Persistence pays off: Follow-up methods for difficult-to-track longitudinal samples. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70(5), 751-761. [This is an example for our work of methods used (and lessons learned) to follow-up a challenging sample.]

  • Cottler, L. B., Compton, W. M., Ben Abdallah, A., Horne, M., & Claverie, D. (1996). Achieving a 96.6% follow-up rate in a longitudinal study of drug abusers. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 41, 209-217.
     

  • Click here to download the PowerPoint Presentation.

Class 4 – Julia Braverman / Measurement and Validity

  • Garner, D., Olmstead, M., & Polivy, J. (1983). Development and validation of a multidimensional eating disorder inventory for anorexia nervosa and bulimia. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 2(2), 15-34.

  • Mogge, N. L., & LePage, J. P. (2004). The Assessment of Depression Inventory (ADI): A new instrument used to measure depression and to detect honesty of response. Depression and Anxiety, 20(3), 107-113. [These articles provide nice examples of how to build and validate a new assessment scale. This includes various techniques to ensure validity and reliability of the scale that we discussed in class. You may also notice something that is not there.]
     

  • Click here to download the PowerPoint Presentation.

Class 5 – Sarah Nelson / Crash Course in Statistics

  • Abelson, R. P. (1995). Making claims with statistics. In R. Abelson (Ed.), Statistics as principled argument (pp. 1-16). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

  • Cohen, J. (1994). The Earth is round (p < .05). American Psychologist, 49(12), 997-1003.

  • Gigerenzer, G., Gaissmaier, W., Kurz-Milcke, E., Schwartz, L. M., & Woloshin, Steven. (2007). Helping doctors and patients make sense of health statistics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 8(2), 53-96.

  • Kerr, N. L. (1998). HARKing: Hypothesizing after the results are known. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2(3), 196-217.

  • Kluger, A. N., & Tikochinsky, J. (2001). The error of accepting the theoretical null hypothesis: The rise, fall, and resurrection of commonsense hypotheses in psychology. Psychological Bulletin, 127(3), 408-423.
     

  • Click here to download the PowerPoint Presentation.

Class 6 – Sarah Nelson / More on Design -- Causality

  • Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173-1182.

  • Feynman, R. P. (1974). Cargo cult science: Some remarks on science, pseudoscience, and learning how to not fool yourself. Caltech's 1974 commencement address. Engineering and Science, 37(7), 10-13.

  • Gerber, J. S., & Offit, P. A. (2009). Vaccines and Autism: A tale of shifting hypotheses. Clinical Infectious Disease, 48, 456-461.

  • Streiner, D. L., Patten, S. B., Anthony. J. C., & Cairney, J. (2009). Has ‘lifetime prevalence’ reached the end of its life? An examination of the concept. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 18(4), 221-228.

  • Wakefield, A. J. et al. (1998). Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Lancet, 351(9103), 637-641. [This is the original article suggesting a link between MMR vaccination and autism that has recently been retracted by the Lancet.]
     

  • Click here to download the PowerPoint Presentation.

Class 7 – Ryan Martin / Research Ethics

Class 8 – Debi LaPlante / The Context of Research

Class 9 – Sarah Nelson / Course Conclusion

  • Bem, D. (2004). Writing the empirical journal article. In J. M. Darley, M. P. Zanna, & H. L. Roediger III (Eds.) The compleat academic (2nd Ed., pp. 185-219). Washington, DC: APA.

  • McGuire, W. J. (1997). Creative hypothesis generating in psychology: Some useful heuristics. Annual Review of Psychology, 48, 1-30.
     

  • Click here to download the PowerPoint Presentation.

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