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Population Health Intervention Research (PHIR)

Course Number
5100 (Social and Behavioural Health Science)
Course Instructor(s)
Erica Di Ruggiero

Course Description

This course examines different theoretical and methodological foundations related to the study of population health interventions and their health equity impacts. These interventions include, for example: policies, programs, events and other phenomena that impact a number of people by tackling the socio-structural, cultural and environmental determinants of health within and outside of Canada. The course will provide students with an opportunity to grapple with the different concepts and terms that are in use to study these interventions, including but not limited to implementation science, program science, public health policy evaluation and health impact assessment. It will address knowledge translation and exchange and partnership approaches as they relate to the implementation and to the scale-up of interventions. The course will also address this material through the lens of current topics related to, for example, healthy cities, global health, clinical public health, etc. Graduate students, including masters and doctoral students and professionals seeking a continuing education opportunity from a range of disciplines will be encouraged to take this course.

Course Objectives

Population health intervention research (PHIR) involves the use of scientific methods to produce knowledge about policy and program interventions that operate within or outside of the health sector and have the potential to impact health status and health equity at the population level. Through this course, students will be exposed to a range of theories, concepts and methods related to the study of population health interventions (PHI).

Students should expect to develop abilities that will contribute to:

  • The design and conduct of PHI research or evaluations
  • Knowledge translation and exchange in PHIR with partnership or collaboration design implications

Methods of Assessment

Oral presentation 20%
Briefing note 25%
Final assignment 40%
Participation 15%

General Requirements

Students must have taken at least one course in program evaluation and/or in research methods (qualitative or quantitative). More specifically:

    Students must have prior knowledge and understanding of public and population health including social determinants of health and health equity,

    Familiarity with planning and/or implementing population health interventions is an asset.

    Students must have taken at least one course in program evaluation and have foundational knowledge or working experience in evaluation
    Students should have also taken at least one research methods course (qualitative or quantitative).