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What Are Some Trending Research Topics in Health Education and Promotion?

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Insights in Public Health Education and Promotion: 2022.

Loading... Editorial 03 October 2023 Editorial: Insights in public health education and promotion: 2022 Harshad Thakur  and  Allen C. Meadors 443 views 0 citations

health education research topics

Original Research 13 July 2023 People's knowledge, attitudes, practice, and healthcare education demand regarding OSA: a cross-sectional study among Chinese general populations Zhongjing Pan ,  5 more  and  Dan Lu 1,432 views 0 citations

Original Research 23 June 2023 Factors influencing the satisfaction of community senior care services in China: an analysis based on an extended Anderson model Wei Ma ,  2 more  and  Han Zhang 1,173 views 0 citations

Original Research 28 March 2023 Action learning and public health pedagogy: Student reflections from an experiential public health course Christine N. Pham ,  1 more  and  Debbie L. Humphries 1,668 views 1 citations

Original Research 23 March 2023 A quality analysis of thyroid cancer videos available on TikTok Li Wang ,  2 more  and  Li Xiao 996 views 2 citations

Original Research 21 March 2023 QATCHEPP: A quality assessment tool for critical health promotion practice Lily O'Hara  and  Jane Taylor 2,001 views 2 citations

Original Research 03 March 2023 Reflections on medical student evaluations of a public health clerkship Azhar T. Rahma ,  7 more  and  Michal Grivna 930 views 0 citations

Original Research 03 March 2023 Kidney transplant-related knowledge and influencing factors in Chinese kidney transplant candidates and recipients: A cross-sectional study Hangxia Ma ,  1 more  and  Jingjing Wan 1,354 views 1 citations

Original Research 17 February 2023 U.S. Cooperative Extension's response to substance misuse: A scoping review Angela Hagaman ,  1 more  and  Lisa Tucker Washburn 1,485 views 0 citations

Original Research 06 February 2023 Organ donation: Key factors influencing the younger generation's decision-making in China Xiulan Chen ,  1 more  and  Weili Ai 2,323 views 2 citations

Original Research 10 January 2023 The effect of community-based health education programs on health literacy in severely impoverished counties in Southwestern China: Results from a quasi-experimental design Benyan Li ,  4 more  and  Rui Deng 1,931 views 0 citations

Original Research 04 January 2023 A study on the effects of health behavior and sports participation on female college students' body mass index and healthy promoting lifestyle Xiangyun Lin  and  Hao Liu 1,483 views 0 citations

Original Research 04 January 2023 Associations between sexual and reproductive health knowledge, attitude and practice of partners and the occurrence of unintended pregnancy Ruping Liu ,  8 more  and  Yongbin Yang 1,667 views 0 citations

Original Research 15 December 2022 Incidence and predictors of opportunistic infections in adolescents and adults after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy: A 10-year retrospective cohort study in Ethiopia Beshada Zerfu Woldegeorgis ,  3 more  and  Yordanos Sisay Asgedom 2,479 views 2 citations

Loading... Original Research 23 November 2022 A cross-sectional assessment of knowledge, awareness of risk factors, and perceptions of thyroid disease (TD) among adults living in Saudi Arabia – A community based study Riyadh A. Alhazmi ,  3 more  and  Mahmood Basil A. Al-Rawi 3,215 views 14 citations

Original Research 09 November 2022 Medical perspective of reproductive health education in Indonesian schoolbooks Wienta Diarsvitri  and  Iwu Dwisetyani Utomo 1,847 views 1 citations

Original Research 03 November 2022 The impact of public health education on people's demand for commercial health insurance: Empirical evidence from China Lifei Gao ,  2 more  and  Fei Li 1,868 views 0 citations

Original Research 14 October 2022 Psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the sugar-sweetened beverages media literacy scale for undergraduates Chen Long  and  Myeong Sook Yoon 1,021 views 0 citations

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Research Topics & Ideas: Healthcare

100+ Healthcare Research Topic Ideas To Fast-Track Your Project

Healthcare-related research topics and ideas

Finding and choosing a strong research topic is the critical first step when it comes to crafting a high-quality dissertation, thesis or research project. If you’ve landed on this post, chances are you’re looking for a healthcare-related research topic , but aren’t sure where to start. Here, we’ll explore a variety of healthcare-related research ideas and topic thought-starters across a range of healthcare fields, including allopathic and alternative medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, optometry, pharmacology and public health.

NB – This is just the start…

The topic ideation and evaluation process has multiple steps . In this post, we’ll kickstart the process by sharing some research topic ideas within the healthcare domain. This is the starting point, but to develop a well-defined research topic, you’ll need to identify a clear and convincing research gap , along with a well-justified plan of action to fill that gap.

If you’re new to the oftentimes perplexing world of research, or if this is your first time undertaking a formal academic research project, be sure to check out our free dissertation mini-course. In it, we cover the process of writing a dissertation or thesis from start to end. Be sure to also sign up for our free webinar that explores how to find a high-quality research topic.

Overview: Healthcare Research Topics

  • Allopathic medicine
  • Alternative /complementary medicine
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Physical therapy/ rehab
  • Optometry and ophthalmology
  • Pharmacy and pharmacology
  • Public health
  • Examples of healthcare-related dissertations

Allopathic (Conventional) Medicine

  • The effectiveness of telemedicine in remote elderly patient care
  • The impact of stress on the immune system of cancer patients
  • The effects of a plant-based diet on chronic diseases such as diabetes
  • The use of AI in early cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • The role of the gut microbiome in mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety
  • The efficacy of mindfulness meditation in reducing chronic pain: A systematic review
  • The benefits and drawbacks of electronic health records in a developing country
  • The effects of environmental pollution on breast milk quality
  • The use of personalized medicine in treating genetic disorders
  • The impact of social determinants of health on chronic diseases in Asia
  • The role of high-intensity interval training in improving cardiovascular health
  • The efficacy of using probiotics for gut health in pregnant women
  • The impact of poor sleep on the treatment of chronic illnesses
  • The role of inflammation in the development of chronic diseases such as lupus
  • The effectiveness of physiotherapy in pain control post-surgery

Research topic idea mega list

Topics & Ideas: Alternative Medicine

  • The benefits of herbal medicine in treating young asthma patients
  • The use of acupuncture in treating infertility in women over 40 years of age
  • The effectiveness of homoeopathy in treating mental health disorders: A systematic review
  • The role of aromatherapy in reducing stress and anxiety post-surgery
  • The impact of mindfulness meditation on reducing high blood pressure
  • The use of chiropractic therapy in treating back pain of pregnant women
  • The efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine such as Shun-Qi-Tong-Xie (SQTX) in treating digestive disorders in China
  • The impact of yoga on physical and mental health in adolescents
  • The benefits of hydrotherapy in treating musculoskeletal disorders such as tendinitis
  • The role of Reiki in promoting healing and relaxation post birth
  • The effectiveness of naturopathy in treating skin conditions such as eczema
  • The use of deep tissue massage therapy in reducing chronic pain in amputees
  • The impact of tai chi on the treatment of anxiety and depression
  • The benefits of reflexology in treating stress, anxiety and chronic fatigue
  • The role of acupuncture in the prophylactic management of headaches and migraines

Research topic evaluator

Topics & Ideas: Dentistry

  • The impact of sugar consumption on the oral health of infants
  • The use of digital dentistry in improving patient care: A systematic review
  • The efficacy of orthodontic treatments in correcting bite problems in adults
  • The role of dental hygiene in preventing gum disease in patients with dental bridges
  • The impact of smoking on oral health and tobacco cessation support from UK dentists
  • The benefits of dental implants in restoring missing teeth in adolescents
  • The use of lasers in dental procedures such as root canals
  • The efficacy of root canal treatment using high-frequency electric pulses in saving infected teeth
  • The role of fluoride in promoting remineralization and slowing down demineralization
  • The impact of stress-induced reflux on oral health
  • The benefits of dental crowns in restoring damaged teeth in elderly patients
  • The use of sedation dentistry in managing dental anxiety in children
  • The efficacy of teeth whitening treatments in improving dental aesthetics in patients with braces
  • The role of orthodontic appliances in improving well-being
  • The impact of periodontal disease on overall health and chronic illnesses

Free Webinar: How To Find A Dissertation Research Topic

Tops & Ideas: Veterinary Medicine

  • The impact of nutrition on broiler chicken production
  • The role of vaccines in disease prevention in horses
  • The importance of parasite control in animal health in piggeries
  • The impact of animal behaviour on welfare in the dairy industry
  • The effects of environmental pollution on the health of cattle
  • The role of veterinary technology such as MRI in animal care
  • The importance of pain management in post-surgery health outcomes
  • The impact of genetics on animal health and disease in layer chickens
  • The effectiveness of alternative therapies in veterinary medicine: A systematic review
  • The role of veterinary medicine in public health: A case study of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The impact of climate change on animal health and infectious diseases in animals
  • The importance of animal welfare in veterinary medicine and sustainable agriculture
  • The effects of the human-animal bond on canine health
  • The role of veterinary medicine in conservation efforts: A case study of Rhinoceros poaching in Africa
  • The impact of veterinary research of new vaccines on animal health

Topics & Ideas: Physical Therapy/Rehab

  • The efficacy of aquatic therapy in improving joint mobility and strength in polio patients
  • The impact of telerehabilitation on patient outcomes in Germany
  • The effect of kinesiotaping on reducing knee pain and improving function in individuals with chronic pain
  • A comparison of manual therapy and yoga exercise therapy in the management of low back pain
  • The use of wearable technology in physical rehabilitation and the impact on patient adherence to a rehabilitation plan
  • The impact of mindfulness-based interventions in physical therapy in adolescents
  • The effects of resistance training on individuals with Parkinson’s disease
  • The role of hydrotherapy in the management of fibromyalgia
  • The impact of cognitive-behavioural therapy in physical rehabilitation for individuals with chronic pain
  • The use of virtual reality in physical rehabilitation of sports injuries
  • The effects of electrical stimulation on muscle function and strength in athletes
  • The role of physical therapy in the management of stroke recovery: A systematic review
  • The impact of pilates on mental health in individuals with depression
  • The use of thermal modalities in physical therapy and its effectiveness in reducing pain and inflammation
  • The effect of strength training on balance and gait in elderly patients

Topics & Ideas: Optometry & Opthalmology

  • The impact of screen time on the vision and ocular health of children under the age of 5
  • The effects of blue light exposure from digital devices on ocular health
  • The role of dietary interventions, such as the intake of whole grains, in the management of age-related macular degeneration
  • The use of telemedicine in optometry and ophthalmology in the UK
  • The impact of myopia control interventions on African American children’s vision
  • The use of contact lenses in the management of dry eye syndrome: different treatment options
  • The effects of visual rehabilitation in individuals with traumatic brain injury
  • The role of low vision rehabilitation in individuals with age-related vision loss: challenges and solutions
  • The impact of environmental air pollution on ocular health
  • The effectiveness of orthokeratology in myopia control compared to contact lenses
  • The role of dietary supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, in ocular health
  • The effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure from tanning beds on ocular health
  • The impact of computer vision syndrome on long-term visual function
  • The use of novel diagnostic tools in optometry and ophthalmology in developing countries
  • The effects of virtual reality on visual perception and ocular health: an examination of dry eye syndrome and neurologic symptoms

Topics & Ideas: Pharmacy & Pharmacology

  • The impact of medication adherence on patient outcomes in cystic fibrosis
  • The use of personalized medicine in the management of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • The effects of pharmacogenomics on drug response and toxicity in cancer patients
  • The role of pharmacists in the management of chronic pain in primary care
  • The impact of drug-drug interactions on patient mental health outcomes
  • The use of telepharmacy in healthcare: Present status and future potential
  • The effects of herbal and dietary supplements on drug efficacy and toxicity
  • The role of pharmacists in the management of type 1 diabetes
  • The impact of medication errors on patient outcomes and satisfaction
  • The use of technology in medication management in the USA
  • The effects of smoking on drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics: A case study of clozapine
  • Leveraging the role of pharmacists in preventing and managing opioid use disorder
  • The impact of the opioid epidemic on public health in a developing country
  • The use of biosimilars in the management of the skin condition psoriasis
  • The effects of the Affordable Care Act on medication utilization and patient outcomes in African Americans

Topics & Ideas: Public Health

  • The impact of the built environment and urbanisation on physical activity and obesity
  • The effects of food insecurity on health outcomes in Zimbabwe
  • The role of community-based participatory research in addressing health disparities
  • The impact of social determinants of health, such as racism, on population health
  • The effects of heat waves on public health
  • The role of telehealth in addressing healthcare access and equity in South America
  • The impact of gun violence on public health in South Africa
  • The effects of chlorofluorocarbons air pollution on respiratory health
  • The role of public health interventions in reducing health disparities in the USA
  • The impact of the United States Affordable Care Act on access to healthcare and health outcomes
  • The effects of water insecurity on health outcomes in the Middle East
  • The role of community health workers in addressing healthcare access and equity in low-income countries
  • The impact of mass incarceration on public health and behavioural health of a community
  • The effects of floods on public health and healthcare systems
  • The role of social media in public health communication and behaviour change in adolescents

Examples: Healthcare Dissertation & Theses

While the ideas we’ve presented above are a decent starting point for finding a healthcare-related research topic, they are fairly generic and non-specific. So, it helps to look at actual dissertations and theses to see how this all comes together.

Below, we’ve included a selection of research projects from various healthcare-related degree programs to help refine your thinking. These are actual dissertations and theses, written as part of Master’s and PhD-level programs, so they can provide some useful insight as to what a research topic looks like in practice.

  • Improving Follow-Up Care for Homeless Populations in North County San Diego (Sanchez, 2021)
  • On the Incentives of Medicare’s Hospital Reimbursement and an Examination of Exchangeability (Elzinga, 2016)
  • Managing the healthcare crisis: the career narratives of nurses (Krueger, 2021)
  • Methods for preventing central line-associated bloodstream infection in pediatric haematology-oncology patients: A systematic literature review (Balkan, 2020)
  • Farms in Healthcare: Enhancing Knowledge, Sharing, and Collaboration (Garramone, 2019)
  • When machine learning meets healthcare: towards knowledge incorporation in multimodal healthcare analytics (Yuan, 2020)
  • Integrated behavioural healthcare: The future of rural mental health (Fox, 2019)
  • Healthcare service use patterns among autistic adults: A systematic review with narrative synthesis (Gilmore, 2021)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Combatting Burnout and Compassionate Fatigue among Mental Health Caregivers (Lundquist, 2022)
  • Transgender and gender-diverse people’s perceptions of gender-inclusive healthcare access and associated hope for the future (Wille, 2021)
  • Efficient Neural Network Synthesis and Its Application in Smart Healthcare (Hassantabar, 2022)
  • The Experience of Female Veterans and Health-Seeking Behaviors (Switzer, 2022)
  • Machine learning applications towards risk prediction and cost forecasting in healthcare (Singh, 2022)
  • Does Variation in the Nursing Home Inspection Process Explain Disparity in Regulatory Outcomes? (Fox, 2020)

Looking at these titles, you can probably pick up that the research topics here are quite specific and narrowly-focused , compared to the generic ones presented earlier. This is an important thing to keep in mind as you develop your own research topic. That is to say, to create a top-notch research topic, you must be precise and target a specific context with specific variables of interest . In other words, you need to identify a clear, well-justified research gap.

Need more help?

If you’re still feeling a bit unsure about how to find a research topic for your healthcare dissertation or thesis, check out Topic Kickstarter service below.

Research Topic Kickstarter - Need Help Finding A Research Topic?

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Topic Kickstarter: Research topics in education


Mabel Allison

I need topics that will match the Msc program am running in healthcare research please

Theophilus Ugochuku

Hello Mabel,

I can help you with a good topic, kindly provide your email let’s have a good discussion on this.

sneha ramu

Can you provide some research topics and ideas on Immunology?


Thank you to create new knowledge on research problem verse research topic

Help on problem statement on teen pregnancy

Derek Jansen

This post might be useful: https://gradcoach.com/research-problem-statement/

vera akinyi akinyi vera

can you provide me with a research topic on healthcare related topics to a qqi level 5 student

Didjatou tao

Please can someone help me with research topics in public health ?

Gurtej singh Dhillon

Hello I have requirement of Health related latest research issue/topics for my social media speeches. If possible pls share health issues , diagnosis, treatment.

Chikalamba Muzyamba

I would like a topic thought around first-line support for Gender-Based Violence for survivors or one related to prevention of Gender-Based Violence

Evans Amihere

Please can I be helped with a master’s research topic in either chemical pathology or hematology or immunology? thanks


Can u please provide me with a research topic on occupational health and safety at the health sector

Biyama Chama Reuben

Good day kindly help provide me with Ph.D. Public health topics on Reproductive and Maternal Health, interventional studies on Health Education

dominic muema

may you assist me with a good easy healthcare administration study topic


May you assist me in finding a research topic on nutrition,physical activity and obesity. On the impact on children

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151+ Public Health Research Topics [Updated 2024]

public health research topics

The important area of public health research is essential to forming laws, influencing medical procedures, and eventually enhancing community well-being. As we delve into the vast landscape of public health research topics, it’s essential to understand the profound impact they have on society.

This blog aims to provide a comprehensive guide to selecting and understanding the diverse array of public health research topics.

Overview of Public Health Research Topics

Table of Contents

Public health research encompasses a wide range of subjects, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the field. From epidemiology and health policy to environmental health and infectious diseases, researchers navigate through various dimensions to address complex health challenges.

Each category holds its own significance, contributing to the overall understanding of public health dynamics.

Key Considerations in Selecting Public Health Research Topics

  • Current Relevance: Assess the timeliness of potential topics by considering recent health trends, emerging issues, and societal concerns.
  • Impact on Public Health: Evaluate the potential impact of the research on improving health outcomes, addressing disparities, or influencing policy and interventions.
  • Feasibility and Resources: Gauge the practicality of conducting research on a particular topic, considering available resources, data accessibility, and research infrastructure.
  • Ethical Considerations: Scrutinize the ethical implications of the research, ensuring it aligns with ethical standards and guidelines, especially when dealing with vulnerable populations or sensitive topics.

Top 151+ Public Health Research Topics


  • The Impact of Social Determinants on Disease Outcomes
  • Patterns and Trends in Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Investigating Health Disparities among Different Ethnic Groups
  • Childhood Obesity and its Long-Term Health Consequences
  • Assessing the Effectiveness of Contact Tracing in Disease Control

Health Policy

  • Universal Healthcare: Comparative Analysis of Global Models
  • The Role of Telemedicine in Improving Healthcare Access
  • Evaluating Mental Health Policies and Their Impact on Communities
  • Assessing the Impact of Affordable Care Act on Public Health
  • Vaccine Policies and Public Perception: A Comprehensive Study

Environmental Health

  • Climate Change and Health: Adapting to the Challenges
  • Air Quality and Respiratory Health in Urban Environments
  • Waterborne Diseases and Strategies for Safe Water Supply
  • Occupational Health Hazards: A Comprehensive Workplace Analysis
  • The Impact of Green Spaces on Mental Health in Urban Areas

Infectious Diseases

  • Antimicrobial Resistance: Strategies for Mitigation
  • Vaccination Strategies and Herd Immunity
  • Global Health Security: Preparedness for Pandemics
  • The Impact of Vector-Borne Diseases on Public Health
  • Emerging Trends in Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

Chronic Diseases

  • Lifestyle Interventions for Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Genetic Factors in the Development of Cancer: A Comprehensive Study
  • Aging and Health: Addressing the Healthcare Needs of the Elderly
  • Diabetes Prevention Programs: Efficacy and Implementation
  • Mental Health in Chronic Disease Patients: Bridging the Gap

Maternal and Child Health

  • Maternal Mortality: Understanding Causes and Prevention
  • The Impact of Breastfeeding on Infant Health and Development
  • Childhood Immunization: Barriers and Strategies for Improvement
  • Teenage Pregnancy and Its Long-Term Health Consequences
  • Mental Health Support for Postpartum Women: Current Gaps and Solutions

Health Behavior and Promotion

  • Smoking Cessation Programs: Effectiveness and Challenges
  • Physical Activity Promotion in Schools: Strategies for Success
  • Nutrition Education and Its Impact on Healthy Eating Habits
  • Mental Health Awareness Campaigns: Assessing Public Perceptions
  • The Role of Social Media in Health Promotion

Global Health

  • Assessing the Impact of International Aid on Global Health
  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Programs in Developing Countries
  • The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Global Health
  • Communicable Disease Control in Refugee Populations
  • Global Access to Essential Medicines: Challenges and Solutions

Community Health

  • Community-Based Participatory Research: Best Practices and Challenges
  • The Impact of Community Health Workers on Health Outcomes
  • Health Literacy and its Relationship to Health Disparities
  • Assessing the Effectiveness of Mobile Health (mHealth) Interventions
  • Community Resilience in the Face of Public Health Crises

Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety

  • Hospital-Acquired Infections: Strategies for Prevention
  • Patient Safety Culture in Healthcare Organizations
  • Quality Improvement Initiatives in Primary Care Settings
  • Healthcare Accreditation: Impact on Patient Outcomes
  • Implementing Electronic Health Records: Challenges and Benefits

Mental Health

  • Stigma Reduction Programs for Mental Health Disorders
  • Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care Settings
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health: Long-Term Implications
  • Mental Health in the Workplace: Strategies for Employee Well-being
  • Suicide Prevention Programs: Effectiveness and Outreach

Health Disparities

  • Racial Disparities in Healthcare: Addressing Systemic Inequities
  • LGBTQ+ Health Disparities and Inclusive Healthcare Practices
  • Socioeconomic Status and Access to Healthcare Services
  • Geographical Disparities in Health: Rural vs. Urban
  • The Impact of Gender on Health Outcomes and Access to Care

Public Health Education

  • Evaluation of Public Health Education Programs
  • Innovative Approaches to Teaching Public Health Concepts
  • Online Health Education Platforms: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Interdisciplinary Training in Public Health: Bridging Gaps
  • Continuing Education for Public Health Professionals: Current Landscape

Digital Health

  • The Role of Wearable Devices in Health Monitoring
  • Telehealth Adoption: Barriers and Opportunities
  • Health Apps for Chronic Disease Management: User Perspectives
  • Blockchain Technology in Healthcare: Privacy and Security Implications
  • Artificial Intelligence in Disease Diagnosis and Prediction

Health Economics

  • Cost-Effectiveness of Preventive Health Interventions
  • The Impact of Healthcare Financing Models on Access to Care
  • Pharmaceutical Pricing and Access to Essential Medicines
  • Economic Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs
  • Health Insurance Coverage and Health Outcomes: A Global Perspective

Innovations in Public Health

  • 3D Printing in Healthcare: Applications and Future Prospects
  • Gene Editing Technologies and their Ethical Implications
  • Smart Cities and Public Health: Integrating Technology for Well-being
  • Nanotechnology in Medicine: Potential for Disease Treatment
  • The Role of Drones in Public Health: Surveillance and Intervention

Food Safety and Nutrition

  • Foodborne Illness Outbreaks: Investigating Causes and Prevention
  • Sustainable Food Systems: Implications for Public Health
  • Nutritional Interventions for Malnutrition in Developing Countries
  • Food Labeling and Consumer Understanding: A Critical Review
  • The Impact of Fast Food Consumption on Public Health

Substance Abuse

  • Opioid Epidemic: Strategies for Prevention and Treatment
  • Harm Reduction Approaches in Substance Abuse Programs
  • Alcohol Consumption Patterns and Public Health Outcomes
  • Smoking and Mental Health: Exploring the Connection
  • Novel Psychoactive Substances: Emerging Threats and Strategies

Occupational Health

  • Workplace Stress and Mental Health: Intervention Strategies
  • Occupational Hazards in Healthcare Professions: A Comparative Analysis
  • Ergonomics in the Workplace: Improving Worker Health and Productivity
  • Night Shift Work and Health Consequences: Addressing Challenges
  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations: A Global Overview

Disaster Preparedness and Response

  • Pandemic Preparedness and Lessons from COVID-19
  • Natural Disasters and Mental Health: Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Emergency Response Systems: Improving Timeliness and Efficiency
  • Communicating Health Risks During Emergencies: Public Perception
  • Collaborative Approaches to Disaster Response in Global Health

Cancer Research

  • Precision Medicine in Cancer Treatment: Current Advancements
  • Cancer Screening Programs: Efficacy and Challenges
  • Environmental Factors and Cancer Risk: Exploring Connections
  • Survivorship Care Plans: Enhancing Quality of Life after Cancer
  • Integrative Therapies in Cancer Care: Complementary Approaches

Sexual and Reproductive Health

  • Access to Contraception in Developing Countries: Challenges and Solutions
  • Comprehensive Sex Education Programs: Impact on Teen Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Health Rights: Global Perspectives and Challenges
  • Infertility Treatment: Ethical Considerations and Societal Impact
  • Maternal and Child Health in Conflict Zones: Addressing Challenges

Cardiovascular Health

  • Hypertension Prevention Programs: Strategies and Effectiveness
  • Cardiovascular Disease in Women: Gender-Specific Risk Factors
  • Innovations in Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs
  • Artificial Heart Technology: Advancements and Ethical Implications
  • Impact of Air Pollution on Cardiovascular Health: A Global Concern

Social Determinants of Health

  • Educational Attainment and Health Outcomes: Exploring Links
  • Income Inequality and its Impact on Population Health
  • Social Support Networks and Mental Health: A Comprehensive Study
  • Neighborhood Environments and Health Disparities
  • Employment and Health: The Interplay of Work and Well-being

Genomics and Public Health

  • Population Genomics and its Implications for Public Health
  • Genetic Counseling and Education: Empowering Individuals and Families
  • Ethical Issues in Genetic Research: Privacy and Informed Consent
  • Pharmacogenomics: Tailoring Drug Therapies to Individual Genotypes
  • Gene-Environment Interactions in Disease Risk: Unraveling Complexities

Public Health Ethics

  • Informed Consent in Public Health Research: Current Practices
  • Ethical Challenges in Global Health Research: Balancing Priorities
  • Confidentiality in Public Health Reporting: Striking the Right Balance
  • Research with Vulnerable Populations: Ethical Considerations
  • Ethical Implications of Emerging Technologies in Healthcare

Health Communication

  • The Role of Media in Shaping Public Health Perceptions
  • Health Literacy Interventions: Improving Understanding of Health Information
  • Social Media Campaigns for Public Health Promotion: Best Practices
  • Tailoring Health Messages for Diverse Audiences: Cultural Competency
  • Risk Communication in Public Health Emergencies: Lessons Learned


  • Personalized Nutrition Plans based on Genetic Makeup
  • Impact of Nutrigenomics on Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Ethical Considerations in Nutrigenomics Research
  • Public Perceptions of Nutrigenomic Testing: A Qualitative Study
  • Integrating Nutrigenomics into Public Health Policies

Public Health and Artificial Intelligence

  • Predictive Analytics in Disease Surveillance: Harnessing AI for Early Detection
  • Ethical Considerations in AI-Driven Health Decision Support Systems
  • Machine Learning in Epidemiology: Predicting Disease Outbreaks
  • Natural Language Processing in Public Health: Text Mining for Insights
  • Bias in AI Algorithms: Implications for Health Equity

Health Disparities in Aging

  • Geriatric Health Disparities: Bridging the Gap in Elderly Care
  • Ageism in Healthcare: Addressing Stereotypes and Discrimination
  • Social Isolation and Health Consequences in Aging Populations
  • Access to Palliative Care for Older Adults: A Global Perspective
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Ethnic Disparities in Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Loneliness and Mental Health in the Elderly: Interventions and Support

Research Methodologies in Public Health

Public health research employs various methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches. Each method brings its own strengths to the research process, allowing researchers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues they investigate. 

Community-based participatory research is another valuable approach, emphasizing collaboration with communities to address their specific health concerns.

Challenges and Opportunities in Public Health Research

While public health research is immensely rewarding, it comes with its own set of challenges. Funding constraints, ethical dilemmas, the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, and the integration of technology pose both obstacles and opportunities. 

Researchers must navigate these challenges to ensure their work has a meaningful impact on public health.

In conclusion, public health research topics are diverse and dynamic, reflecting the complex nature of the field. As researchers embark on their journeys, they must carefully consider the relevance, impact, and ethical implications of their chosen topics. 

The collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of public health research positions it as a powerful tool in addressing the health challenges of our time. By exploring the depths of these topics, researchers contribute to the collective effort to build healthier and more equitable communities. 

As we move forward, a continued exploration of relevant public health research topics is essential for shaping the future of healthcare and improving the well-being of populations worldwide.

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  • Research article
  • Open access
  • Published: 18 November 2020

Identifying research priorities for health professions education research in sub-Saharan Africa using a modified Delphi method

  • Susan C. Van Schalkwyk   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1596-6791 1 ,
  • Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6260-8140 2 ,
  • Jehan Z. Budak   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-1545-254X 3 ,
  • Michael J. A. Reid   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6777-9619 4 &
  • Marietjie R. de Villiers   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-5431-3801 5  

BMC Medical Education volume  20 , Article number:  443 ( 2020 ) Cite this article

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Recent increases in health professions education (HPE) research in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), though substantial, have predominantly originated from single institutions and remained uncoordinated. A shared research agenda can guide the implementation of HPE practices to ultimately influence the recruitment and retention of the health workforce. Thus, the authors aimed to generate and prioritise a list of research topics for HPE research (HPER) in SSA.

A modified Delphi process was designed to prioritise a shared agenda. Members of the African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) technical working group (TWG) were asked to first list potential research topics. Then, members of the same TWG and attendees at the annual AFREhealth academic symposium held in Lagos, Nigeria in August 2019 rated the importance of including each topic on a 3-point Likert scale, through two rounds of consensus seeking. Consensus for inclusion was predefined as ≥70% of respondents rating the topic as “must be included.”

Health professions educators representing a variety of professions and 13 countries responded to the survey rounds. Twenty-three TWG members suggested 26 initial HPER topics; subsequently 90 respondents completed round one, and 51 completed round 2 of the modified Delphi. The final list of 12 research topics which met predetermined consensus criteria were grouped into three categories: (1) creating an enabling environment with sufficient resources and relevant training; (2) enhancing student learning; and (3) identifying and evaluating strategies to improve pedagogical practice.


Establishing research priorities for HPE is important to ensure efficient and appropriate allocation of resources. This study serves as a reminder of how the prevailing context within which HPE, and by implication research in the field, is undertaken will inevitably influence choices about research foci. It further points to a potential advocacy role for research that generates regionally relevant evidence.

Peer Review reports


There has been a rapid increase in the number of health professions training institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in order to train more health professionals for the region. Despite this, SSA remains challenged in meeting the health needs of its populations, exacerbated by existing and emerging epidemiologic challenges [ 1 ]. There has, however, been global interest in strengthening human resources for health (HRH) in the region. Multiple initiatives to improve both the number of graduate outputs and the quality and relevance of their training have been launched [ 2 ]. One example is the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI), a $130 million competitively awarded grant by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to medical and nursing schools in 12 Sub-Saharan African countries from September, 2010 to August, 2015. The goals of MEPI and NEPI were to increase the capacity of the awardees to produce more and better doctors and nurses, strengthen locally relevant research, promote retention of graduates within their countries, and ensure sustainability [ 3 ]. The establishment of the African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth), in 2017, has now sustainably consolidated these initiatives. AFREhealth aims to collaborate with stakeholders to improve health outcomes, work towards an AIDS-free generation, establish a research agenda for health priorities in Africa, and mobilise vital resources [ 4 ].

Much of the published material regarding research in Africa has cited the need to establish a coordinated research agenda to inform priorities [ 5 ]. This is equally true for health professions education research (HPER), which is critical to the success of health professions education (HPE) centers and departments [ 6 , 7 ]. Relatively little has been published on HPER in SSA, despite the increase in the number of training institutions. Although there has been an increase in research outputs in recent years, assisted by the establishment of the African Journal for Health Professions Education (AJHPE), this increase has not matched the rapid growth in the number of institutions. During MEPI, over 376 peer-reviewed publications, including a special supplement in Academic Medicine (2014), were published, however most of these articles tended to be descriptive in nature [ 3 ]. Van Schalkwyk [ 8 ] highlighted the need for strengthening research capacity to generate a wider evidence base in HPE, moving beyond description to contributing to theory building in the field [ 9 ]. As a first step towards responding to this call, we sought to establish what role players in the region would regard as priorities for HPER initiatives. An assumption was that having a shared agenda can strengthen collaborative work in the field and can contribute to appropriate allocation of resources. In addition, and given the importance of context in improving health and the delivery of HPE, local research can also identify potential challenges, set priorities, devise original solutions, and make the best use of scarce resources [ 10 , 11 ]. Therefore, through leveraging the input of regional experts and researchers, we sought to identify a set of HPER priorities to facilitate the implementation of regionally relevant initiatives and concomitantly guide resource allocation.

We used the Delphi method (with modifications) to establish priorities for HPER in SSA. The Delphi method is a consensus-building approach which seeks expert opinion on a pre-determined topic in a structured and iterative manner [ 12 , 13 ]. The Delphi method can be useful in areas where evidence-based literature is limited, as it can unearth collective knowledge from those in the field [ 13 , 14 , 15 ]. A series of rounds are used to clarify, refine, and ultimately achieve consensus on the area under discussion. A key feature of the method is that participants or respondents provide input independently and anonymously during each round, resulting in a process that is not unduly influenced by any one individual or subset of respondents [ 12 , 16 ].

The Delphi method usually involves six steps, namely the identification of a research question/problem; conducting a literature search; developing a set of statements around the topic of choice; performing anonymous iterative rounds; providing feedback to the respondents between rounds; and summarising the findings [ 14 ]. We report our process accordingly.

Step 1 – identifying the research problem/question

Our process involved one round of item generation and two rounds of consensus seeking carried out between April 2019 and October 2019. A group of researchers involved in the AFREhealth network led the process. The authors formed a study group that refined the research question over several project meetings and discussions. Three of the authors (SvS, EKM, MdV) are practicing health professions education experts based in Africa. The other two team members (MR and JB) are infectious diseases experts with a special interest in health professions education, based in the USA. The consensus development process is summarised in Fig.  1 .

figure 1

Flow diagram documenting the Delphi process

Step 2 – literature search

To inform the development of the protocol for our study, we explored the relevant literature, including work describing the Delphi methodology, and studies that have sought to establish research priorities for their specific contexts [ 11 , 14 , 15 , 16 ].

Step 3 – topic generation

A core group of 62 AFREhealth educators and investigators, members of the AFREhealth HPER Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising colleagues from the region with an expressed interest in HPER, were invited to generate topics for consideration. In April 2019, we sent via email a survey designed in Qualtrics© (Provo, UT) [ 17 ] asking, ‘ what are possible research questions, topics, or areas of focus that should be a priority in a health professions education research agenda for sub-Saharan Africa?’ We also requested descriptions and rationales for each research question proposed. Two email reminders were sent. Twenty-three people responded proposing an initial list of 34 research priorities. This list was synthesised by two of the researchers (SvS and MdV) to remove unnecessary duplication, resulting in a list of 26 items. At this point, the research team made a decision to rephrase all of the items as priority topics to ensure consistency across the items.

Step 4 –conducting two iterative anonymous rounds

The list of 26 research priorities generated during stage 3 were distributed in the form of a survey for prioritisation to members of the working group, as well as to a broader group of researchers and stakeholders who attended the AFREhealth Symposium in Lagos, Nigeria in August 2019. This step (Round One) represents a modification in our Delphi in that we introduced additional respondents after the topic generation stage. This meeting involved researchers and educators in the health professions, as well as service providers in the field, mainly from across Anglophone sub-Saharan Africa. Those attending the symposium were asked to complete the prioritisation survey either online (designed in Qualtrics©) or using a paper-based version. Those members of the TWG not present in Lagos were invited via e-mail to complete the same online survey. Two email reminders were sent. Ninety individuals participated in this first round to begin prioritising the topics generated in step 3. Basic demographic information was requested from respondents. Responses were anonymous and treated confidentially. All respondents were asked to rate how important each of the 26 research topics would be to include in a HPER research agenda for SSA using a 3-point Likert scale that ranged from ‘do not include’ to ‘could be included’ to ‘must be included.’ Respondents could also pick ‘no vote,’ if they felt they did not have enough knowledge on a topic to make an informed decision of its importance. Those votes were coded as null. Topics were itemised in random order. Consensus criteria, that only topics rated as ‘must be included’ by ≥70% of respondents would be included, were set a priori. In addition, an open-ended question prompted submission of additional research topics or agenda items in this round. New topics were reviewed and consolidated by the research team into existing themes or added to the list.

For Round Two, in September 2019, all respondents who provided their e-mail addresses in Round One were sent a link via email to the final online survey in Qualtrics©. The final survey included 10 topics which had met consensus criteria in Round One, and 4 additional suggested topics, generating a total of 14 topics. In addition, they were given feedback on the first round. Respondents were again invited to rate each research priority on a 3-point Likert scale in terms of importance to include with consensus set at ≥70% of respondents who rated the topics as ‘must be included. Topics were itemised in random order. After Round Two, sufficient consensus was reached on a smaller number of topics [ 10 ] for the process to be terminated.

Step 5 – providing feedback to respondents

Round One respondents who provided their email addresses received feedback. This feedback was included in the email request to participate in Round Two and outlined the areas that achieved consensus in the first round, in addition to including the percentage of respondents rating each top as ‘must be included,’ as well as the additional items that were generated in Round One.

Step 6 – summarise the findings

The research team, first individually and then collectively, thematically grouped the items that achieved consensus in three areas, thus applying a next order round of analysis. These are reported in the Results section below.

In sum, Table  1 reports the quality criteria for Delphi studies as proposed by Humphrey-Murto et al. [ 14 ], with three additional criteria from Diamond et al., [ 12 ] as applied in our study.

The protocol for this project was reviewed and approved by the University of California, San Francisco’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) in San Francisco, California. Consent was considered implied by participation in the study as approved by the IRB (#19–28,050).

Twenty-three individuals from the HPER TWG participated in topic generation. Ninety responses were received in Round One. For Round Two, the survey was sent via email to the 82 individuals from Round One who provided their email addresses. We received 52 responses (52/90, 58% response rate) in Round Two. Round One’s respondents were from thirteen countries in SSA, with the majority from Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda. In Round Two, 23/52 (44%) of the respondents were from Nigeria, 10/52 (19%) were from South Africa, and 7/52 (13%) were from Uganda. (Table  2 ) To account for the fact that the majority of respondents in both rounds were Nigerian, an additional sensitivity analysis was performed to determine if research priorities were different among respondents from Nigeria compared to elsewhere in SSA. The final list of priority research issues was the same among Nigerian respondents as compared to respondents from other countries.

Respondents reported a median of 14 years’ experience working in HPE, with a range from one to 42 years. Although the majority of the respondents were medically and nursing qualified, the individuals represented a wider range of health professions as well as a few others (Table  3 ).

In Round One, 71/90 (79%) of respondents regarded themselves as experienced or somewhat experienced in HPE, with 25/90 (28%) having published more than five articles in the field. In Round Two, 41/52 (79%) of respondents regarded themselves as experienced or somewhat experienced in HPE, with 25/52 (48%) having published more than five articles in the field (Table  4 ).

Thirty-four topics and topic descriptions were generated by the TWG members, which were reduced to 26 topics by the research team (see previously). In Round One, ten topics met consensus criteria. Twenty-three new topics were suggested, and four of these were incorporated into the next round; those that were not included were deemed sufficiently similar to ones already included in the existing list. In the second topic prioritisation round, ten topics met consensus criteria. (Table  5 ).

Synthesis of topics

The process of synthesis that occurred as a result of establishing consensus within the Delphi saw interesting shifts in perspectives from the initial set of 26 topics, to the final list of ten priorities. The early list, for example, included more generic issues such as ‘assessment practices’, ‘student retention’, ‘graduate competencies’, ‘post-graduate training’ and ‘self-regulation skills’ – topics that would likely resonate with health professions educators all over the world. The final list, however, represents what could be regarded as higher-order topics which, with one or two exceptions, speak to national and regional issues. They reflect the context within which health professionals in SSA are being trained and the challenges that characterise this context. During the topic generating phase of the study, the rationales that respondents provided in support of their selections emphasised the need for understanding ‘our own’ challenges in order to ‘decolonise our way of teaching and assessment.’ It was also argued that existing frameworks had been generated in ‘developed countries’ acknowledging the need for locally, relevant and responsive research. Ultimately, second-tier analysis by the research team resulted in three over-arching, but inter-connected themes: (1) creating an enabling environment with sufficient resources and relevant training; (2) enhancing student learning; and (3) identifying and evaluating strategies to improve pedagogical practice. These could be regarded as a triumvirate of educational endeavors – the teaching (pedagogy), the learning, and then the environment (context) within which it should occur. The themes are discussed below, supported in some instances with direct quotations from some of the rationales provided during the topic generation phase, and with several priorities having relevance across more than one.

An enabling environment

A key message from this Delphi is that a first step to defining and addressing the HPER priorities in SSA is to create the environment that will foster researchers, with sufficient training and resources to address the most pressing questions. This thesis is underscored by the fact that the top 10 priority topics include three that are focused on understanding the factors that currently make HPER challenging in SSA:

Priority # 1 – addressing the human resources for health challenges in rural and remote settings

This first ranked topic focuses on addressing human resources for health challenges in rural and remote settings. This may be an unexpected result for colleagues around the world, but needs to be seen in the context of HPE in SSA as described in the introduction and points to the lived experience of many educators in the field who practice their teaching in resource-constrained contexts. The importance of the environment in influencing teaching and learning has been well-documented [ 18 ]. It can be inferred that for our respondents, addressing the need for practitioners who can respond to the increasing burden of disease, particularly in rural areas, is a non-negotiable imperative whether in terms of the taught curriculum (as many medical schools and health sciences faculties embrace distributed clinical learning [ 19 ]), or in terms of ensuring an environment in which teaching can meaningfully occur. Linked to this was the underlying premise of providing quality health care for all.

Priority # 5 – faculty development for clinical teaching

Supporting those responsible for teaching, specifically clinical teaching, ranked fifth. Recommendations spoke specifically to looking to discern the status of faculty development in the region, describing it as a particular area requiring further investigation. Given the current drive towards the professionalisation of the educational role, and the growing need for faculty who can teach the growing numbers of HPE students, this focus was expected as there has been limited work in this area. An exception is research into the role of emerging clinical teachers which has been conducted in the region in recent years, [ 20 , 21 ] with studies emphasising the need for further work and ongoing support for those responsible for HPE students in clinical training, particularly those who are placed in rural or distributed sites.

Priority # 7 – resources, political commitment and funding for HPE in SSA

This priority picks up on the higher order focus established in Priority # 1, foregrounding the economic and political instability that characterises much of the SSA region, the impact that this has on health care and the subsequent effect on HPE. During topic generation, respondents felt that education, research and service delivery activities should all be directed, “towards addressing priority health concerns of the community, region and/or nation that they have a mandate to serve.”

Enhanced student learning

Among the priorities identified, four foregrounded approaches could potentially enhance student learning. An important proviso for these priorities was that the ultimate aim of enhanced student learning was the delivery of graduate professionals who could respond to local and regional health care imperatives and provide quality health care.

Priority # 2 – Interprofessional collaboration in clinical practice in SSA

Priority #2 highlights an essential approach to healthcare training and practice, namely interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP), that should inform the student learning experience. IPECP is currently foregrounded in HPE research, visible in a plethora of publications [ 22 ]. In the rationales provided for interprofessional collaboration during the topic generating phase of this study, respondents spoke directly to the under resourced context within which many in SSA work, and the extent to which collaboration across all healthcare practitioners will be crucial to address the workforce challenges identified under Priority # 1 including that it would enhance patient care. It should be noted that the establishment of a SSA organisation dedicated to fostering IPECP (The African Interprofessional Education Network (AfrIPEN): https://afripen.org/ ) in 2017 may account for why this particular topic was ranked so high. AfrIPEN has an affiliate relationship with AFREhealth, and it is plausible that some of our respondents are members of both organisations. In their rationales, however, respondents also made reference to the ‘African patriarchal social system’ that needs to be problematised as it is ‘contrary to the philosophical underpinnings of shared leadership, shared decision-making etc.’ that are so needed in the region.

Priority #9 – potential of rural communities as platforms for training health care professionals

Linked strongly to the need to address human resources for health challenges was a focus on enhancing student learning through distributed clinical training, specifically in rural areas. This priority emphasised the growing awareness of how large academic hospitals are not necessarily the best environment for training students to meet community needs.

Priority # 3 – teaching a holistic and person-centered approach and priority # 10 – relevance of communication skills training in culturally diverse contexts

Teaching person-centered and holistic care underscores the value of a comprehensive approach to the person in the African context which also takes into account the person’s values and needs, as well as their family and community [ 23 ]. A further indicator of the complexity of context can be seen in priority # 10 which recognises the need for students to be trained to communicate effectively with patients across multiple contexts and different cultures. This links with previously mentioned perspectives of respondents who felt it was important to support research initiatives that would provide responses for local and regional contexts.

Identifying and evaluating strategies to improve pedagogical practice

A final group of priorities, which includes some already mentioned above, relates to identifying and evaluating strategies to improve pedagogical effectiveness or assess new modes of curricula and pedagogical innovation.

Priority # 4 – the role of information communications technology in HPE

It could be argued that a focus on the role of information communications technology (ICT) in HPE would have been expected given the ubiquitous nature of blended and e-learning approaches in modern-day HPE [ 24 ]. Interestingly, however, this topic did not feature in the topic generating process, but was introduced in Round One and validated in Round Two. There can be no doubt as to the importance of this research focus, particularly investigation that can explore options for drawing out the affordances of ICT amid resource constraints. For example, while many rural areas in SSA may be isolated in terms of connectivity, the region is known for its high rate of cellular telephone coverage providing a lifeline for health care workers in these remote regions. Investigating the potential for HPE using mobile technology could, therefore, have particular relevance [ 25 ].

Priority # 6 – quality assurance processes and procedures in health professions education

This priority demonstrates the intent of respondents to ensure that educational practices and teaching innovations are carefully monitored and evaluated. Responses provided during the topic generation phase suggested that this focus has to do with being accountable given expectations by stakeholders for the provision of quality education.

Priority # 8 – determining how to develop and implement curricula that are responsive to the health needs of SSA

In 2010, the Lancet commissioned article exploring Health professional in the twenty-first Century , [ 26 ] argued that curricula had not kept pace with community healthcare needs, catalysing introspection among health professions educators and curriculum developers across the world. Given SSA specific resource constraints, and its unique burden of disease, exploring what a responsive curriculum for the region might look like would appear to be of significant value for the HPE community. It could be argued that this priority possibly provides a research focus that could encapsulate most if not all of the others that made the final list.

Establishing research priorities for HPE at a national or higher level is important to ensure maximum impact of efforts. Related work has previously been conducted in countries such as Canada [ 27 ], New Zealand [ 28 ], and Scotland [ 11 ], catalysed by a desire to foster collaborative and coordinated approaches to research [ 28 ] and to ensure targeted allocation of increasingly scarce resources [ 11 ]. Comparison between our results and those obtained in these studies highlights both similarities and differences. For example, issues of student access and selection, the role of assessment and feedback, resilience and well-being, phases of transition across curricula, amongst others, are strongly foregrounded in these earlier studies, but do not make it to our final list even though some featured in earlier iterations. The importance of faculty development is, on the other hand, one area of congruence, as is the importance of interprofessionalism. The key difference, however, resides in the extent to which the described need for political and economic stability, and the imperative to ensure suitably trained health professionals who can respond to national and regional challenges, is relatively silent in this earlier work, although there is reference to change management and the importance of leadership to facilitate such change.

What does this study mean for HPER in SSA going forward? What our Delphi highlights is that it is precisely the factors that currently undermine HPER activities in the region that have emerged as research priorities. Thus we are faced with a conundrum on a number of levels. Firstly, the identified set of priorities does not reflect specific research gaps, but rather points to respondents’ perception of challenges within HPE in general, emphasising the complexity of the context in which the training of future health professionals much occur. We acknowledge that this is probably linked to the fact that many of the respondents were clinicians and researchers with an interest in HPER, but not necessarily experts in the field itself. It could be argued that research activities per se are unlikely to impact the national political and economic structures that currently determine the different health systems represented in the study, but perhaps that advocacy work, strengthened by locally generated evidence, is what will be needed.

Secondly, that while we do believe that the consultative process followed in generating this list of priorities can assist in establishing a more coordinated strategy for research in the future, it is also clear that capacity for conducting such research will need to be grown. Close to 40% of our respondents, for example, indicated that they had never published in the field, although they may have done so in other disciplines. As mentioned in the introduction to this article, HPER outputs in the region are low. Indeed, one of the stated aims of the AFREhealth HPER TWG is to grow the community of active scholars in SSA and intentional steps towards such growth will be a necessary condition for implementing a research agenda. Nevertheless, we believe that this work provides a platform from which more focused, contextually relevant research questions can be developed and refined [ 29 ]. It could further be argued that strengthening research capacity in the region could also have value for health research generally – an area of critical need.

A final conundrum relates to the issue of funding and of convincing funders to invest in the region. Without funding it can be difficult to initiate the sort of multi-site, in-depth work that will lead to publications in leading journals. Without a proven track record and evidence of expertise, often measured in terms of publication outputs, funding applications are unlikely to be successful. Given that institutional funding for educational research in medicine is scarce and external grants are few and highly competitive, coordination of research efforts could potentially be of great value to the HPER community in SSA. In the New Zealand study mentioned earlier, Wilkinson and colleagues [ 28 ] expressed the hope that working collaboratively, sharing examples of best practice, and purposefully coordinating their research activities, would strengthen local research capacity while at the same time contributing to HPE scholarship globally. We trust that this work may similarly contribute to global debates, reminding us of the importance of context and relevance when embarking on research activities, on the one hand, and the responsibility of HPE researchers to generate evidence that can challenge or inform policies that may be constraining the training of health professionals, on the other.

Strengths and limitations

We premised our choice of the Delphi approach on its relevance for HPE educators and ability to establish consensus on priorities [ 14 ]. The traditional idea of the Delphi technique, is to define, select, and engage a relatively homogenous group of experts throughout the process [ 13 ]. We modified this by engaging a larger and more diverse group for the two consensus building rounds. Involving respondents with divergent opinions increased the number of perspectives to be considered, and relative ‘newcomers’ could have contributed more novel opinions than those established in the discipline [ 30 ]. This may be the reason why our number one priority is of a wider contextual nature. On the other hand, this could also have limited the research priorities that emerged from the structured sub-fields of HPE.

Sustaining participation across rounds in a Delphi study is a known challenge [ 31 ]. Nonetheless, the outcomes of the process are strongly shaped by those most engaged, which is underlined by the fact that the number of individuals with more than five publications remained the same during both the consensus seeking round, meaning that those with more ‘expertise’ remained engaged through the two rounds. Another possible limitation is of course non-respondent bias. Consequently, there may be important research priorities for some settings that are not reflected here. The results of the study was based on the Delphi method only and could have been strengthened by some supporting qualitative data.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study in SSA to explore HPER priorities for the region. We did so through leveraging the input of regional experts and researchers from diverse backgrounds, but with a shared interest in healthcare and the education thereof. The research was premised on the assumption that having a shared agenda could build evidence that is regionally relevant while facilitating the efficient and appropriate allocation of resources. Nested within this assumption is an acknowledgement that those of us who live and work in the region are best positioned to chart a way forward, and to resist hegemonic practices that are often externally imposed. Our challenge going forward will be to see the effective translation of this priority setting activity into education research policy and practice. Notwithstanding the challenges identified in terms of policy and funding, individual institutions in the region can reflect on these priorities as they seek to establish research strategies for themselves. Such strategies can intentionally look to engage regional partners as a first step to growing a larger network of HPE researchers across SSA.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets and materials are available from the corresponding author on request.


African Forum for Research and Education in Health

The African Interprofessional Education Network

  • Health professions education

Health professions education research

Information communications technology

Interprofessional education and collaborative practice

Institutional Review Board

Medical Education Partnership Initiative

Nursing Education Partnership Initiative

President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

Sub-Saharan Africa

Technical Working Group

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Members of the AFREhealth TWG for their input and participation in the study; organisers of the AFREhealth Symposium in Lagos for assisting with the survey distribution; participants of the various rounds of the study.

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Susan C. Van Schalkwyk

Health Workforce, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), Kampala, Uganda

Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Jehan Z. Budak

Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

Michael J. A. Reid

Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

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SvS: Contributed to the conceptualisation of the study, the refinement of the Delphi surveys, the analysis of the responses, and led the process of manuscript development preparing the final version for submission. MdV: Contributed to the conceptualisation of the study, refinement of the surveys, analysis of the responses, manuscript development with a focus on the methods and results sections, and co-edited the final version of the manuscript for submission. EKM: Contributed to the conceptualisation of the study, manuscript development with a focus on the introduction and discussion sections, and co-edited the final version of the manuscript for submission. JB: Contributed to the conceptualisation of the study, creation of the surveys, manuscript development with a focus on the methods and results sections, and co-edited the final version of the manuscript for submission. MR: Contributed to the conceptualisation of the study, manuscript development with a focus on the methods and results sections, and co-edited the final version of the manuscript for submission. The authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Marietjie R. de Villiers .

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Van Schalkwyk, S.C., Kiguli-Malwadde, E., Budak, J.Z. et al. Identifying research priorities for health professions education research in sub-Saharan Africa using a modified Delphi method. BMC Med Educ 20 , 443 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-020-02367-z

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Best Nursing Research Topics for Students

What is a nursing research paper.

  • What They Include
  • Choosing a Topic
  • Best Nursing Research Topics
  • Research Paper Writing Tips

Best Nursing Research Topics for Students

Writing a research paper is a massive task that involves careful organization, critical analysis, and a lot of time. Some nursing students are natural writers, while others struggle to select a nursing research topic, let alone write about it.

If you're a nursing student who dreads writing research papers, this article may help ease your anxiety. We'll cover everything you need to know about writing nursing school research papers and the top topics for nursing research.  

Continue reading to make your paper-writing jitters a thing of the past.

A nursing research paper is a work of academic writing composed by a nurse or nursing student. The paper may present information on a specific topic or answer a question.

During LPN/LVN and RN programs, most papers you write focus on learning to use research databases, evaluate appropriate resources, and format your writing with APA style. You'll then synthesize your research information to answer a question or analyze a topic.

BSN , MSN , Ph.D., and DNP programs also write nursing research papers. Students in these programs may also participate in conducting original research studies.

Writing papers during your academic program improves and develops many skills, including the ability to:

  • Select nursing topics for research
  • Conduct effective research
  • Analyze published academic literature
  • Format and cite sources
  • Synthesize data
  • Organize and articulate findings

About Nursing Research Papers

When do nursing students write research papers.

You may need to write a research paper for any of the nursing courses you take. Research papers help develop critical thinking and communication skills. They allow you to learn how to conduct research and critically review publications.

That said, not every class will require in-depth, 10-20-page papers. The more advanced your degree path, the more you can expect to write and conduct research. If you're in an associate or bachelor's program, you'll probably write a few papers each semester or term.

Do Nursing Students Conduct Original Research?

Most of the time, you won't be designing, conducting, and evaluating new research. Instead, your projects will focus on learning the research process and the scientific method. You'll achieve these objectives by evaluating existing nursing literature and sources and defending a thesis.

However, many nursing faculty members do conduct original research. So, you may get opportunities to participate in, and publish, research articles.

Example Research Project Scenario:

In your maternal child nursing class, the professor assigns the class a research paper regarding developmentally appropriate nursing interventions for the pediatric population. While that may sound specific, you have almost endless opportunities to narrow down the focus of your writing. 

You could choose pain intervention measures in toddlers. Conversely, you can research the effects of prolonged hospitalization on adolescents' social-emotional development.

What Does a Nursing Research Paper Include?

Your professor should provide a thorough guideline of the scope of the paper. In general, an undergraduate nursing research paper will consist of:

Introduction : A brief overview of the research question/thesis statement your paper will discuss. You can include why the topic is relevant.

Body : This section presents your research findings and allows you to synthesize the information and data you collected. You'll have a chance to articulate your evaluation and answer your research question. The length of this section depends on your assignment.

Conclusion : A brief review of the information and analysis you presented throughout the body of the paper. This section is a recap of your paper and another chance to reassert your thesis.

The best advice is to follow your instructor's rubric and guidelines. Remember to ask for help whenever needed, and avoid overcomplicating the assignment!

How to Choose a Nursing Research Topic

The sheer volume of prospective nursing research topics can become overwhelming for students. Additionally, you may get the misconception that all the 'good' research ideas are exhausted. However, a personal approach may help you narrow down a research topic and find a unique angle.

Writing your research paper about a topic you value or connect with makes the task easier. Additionally, you should consider the material's breadth. Topics with plenty of existing literature will make developing a research question and thesis smoother.

Finally, feel free to shift gears if necessary, especially if you're still early in the research process. If you start down one path and have trouble finding published information, ask your professor if you can choose another topic.

The Best Research Topics for Nursing Students

You have endless subject choices for nursing research papers. This non-exhaustive list just scratches the surface of some of the best nursing research topics.

1. Clinical Nursing Research Topics

  • Analyze the use of telehealth/virtual nursing to reduce inpatient nurse duties.
  • Discuss the impact of evidence-based respiratory interventions on patient outcomes in critical care settings.
  • Explore the effectiveness of pain management protocols in pediatric patients.

2. Community Health Nursing Research Topics

  • Assess the impact of nurse-led diabetes education in Type II Diabetics.
  • Analyze the relationship between socioeconomic status and access to healthcare services.

3. Nurse Education Research Topics

  • Review the effectiveness of simulation-based learning to improve nursing students' clinical skills.
  • Identify methods that best prepare pre-licensure students for clinical practice.
  • Investigate factors that influence nurses to pursue advanced degrees.
  • Evaluate education methods that enhance cultural competence among nurses.
  • Describe the role of mindfulness interventions in reducing stress and burnout among nurses.

4. Mental Health Nursing Research Topics

  • Explore patient outcomes related to nurse staffing levels in acute behavioral health settings.
  • Assess the effectiveness of mental health education among emergency room nurses .
  • Explore de-escalation techniques that result in improved patient outcomes.
  • Review the effectiveness of therapeutic communication in improving patient outcomes.

5. Pediatric Nursing Research Topics

  • Assess the impact of parental involvement in pediatric asthma treatment adherence.
  • Explore challenges related to chronic illness management in pediatric patients.
  • Review the role of play therapy and other therapeutic interventions that alleviate anxiety among hospitalized children.

6. The Nursing Profession Research Topics

  • Analyze the effects of short staffing on nurse burnout .
  • Evaluate factors that facilitate resiliency among nursing professionals.
  • Examine predictors of nurse dissatisfaction and burnout.
  • Posit how nursing theories influence modern nursing practice.

Tips for Writing a Nursing Research Paper

The best nursing research advice we can provide is to follow your professor's rubric and instructions. However, here are a few study tips for nursing students to make paper writing less painful:

Avoid procrastination: Everyone says it, but few follow this advice. You can significantly lower your stress levels if you avoid procrastinating and start working on your project immediately.

Plan Ahead: Break down the writing process into smaller sections, especially if it seems overwhelming. Give yourself time for each step in the process.

Research: Use your resources and ask for help from the librarian or instructor. The rest should come together quickly once you find high-quality studies to analyze.

Outline: Create an outline to help you organize your thoughts. Then, you can plug in information throughout the research process. 

Clear Language: Use plain language as much as possible to get your point across. Jargon is inevitable when writing academic nursing papers, but keep it to a minimum.

Cite Properly: Accurately cite all sources using the appropriate citation style. Nursing research papers will almost always implement APA style. Check out the resources below for some excellent reference management options.

Revise and Edit: Once you finish your first draft, put it away for one to two hours or, preferably, a whole day. Once you've placed some space between you and your paper, read through and edit for clarity, coherence, and grammatical errors. Reading your essay out loud is an excellent way to check for the 'flow' of the paper.

Helpful Nursing Research Writing Resources:

Purdue OWL (Online writing lab) has a robust APA guide covering everything you need about APA style and rules.

Grammarly helps you edit grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Upgrading to a paid plan will get you plagiarism detection, formatting, and engagement suggestions. This tool is excellent to help you simplify complicated sentences.

Mendeley is a free reference management software. It stores, organizes, and cites references. It has a Microsoft plug-in that inserts and correctly formats APA citations.

Don't let nursing research papers scare you away from starting nursing school or furthering your education. Their purpose is to develop skills you'll need to be an effective nurse: critical thinking, communication, and the ability to review published information critically.

Choose a great topic and follow your teacher's instructions; you'll finish that paper in no time.

Joleen Sams

Joleen Sams is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner based in the Kansas City metro area. During her 10-year RN career, Joleen worked in NICU, inpatient pediatrics, and regulatory compliance. Since graduating with her MSN-FNP in 2019, she has worked in urgent care and nursing administration. Connect with Joleen on LinkedIn or see more of her writing on her website.

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250+ Educational Research Topics: Exploring the Path to Educational Excellence

Education is the cornerstone of human development, and its continuous improvement relies on diligent research and exploration. Educational research topics serve as beacons, guiding scholars and practitioners toward innovations that enhance teaching methodologies, student engagement, and overall learning outcomes. These educational research topics delve into the depths of educational systems, dissecting their intricacies to identify effective strategies and interventions. 

From investigating the impact of technology integration on student achievement to exploring the benefits of inclusive education, educational research delves into diverse areas of study. 

In this blog series, we embark on an enlightening journey, shedding light on a myriad of educational research topics. By examining these subjects, we aim to unravel valuable insights that can shape the future of education, fostering an enriching learning experience for all.

Table of Contents

How to choose the right educational research topics?

Choosing the right educational research topic requires careful consideration. Here are some steps to help you select a suitable topic:

Identify your interests

Start by reflecting on your own interests within the field of education. What topics or issues capture your attention? Consider areas such as student learning, teaching methods, educational policies, or educational technology.

Conduct a literature review

Read widely in the field of education to familiarize yourself with current research trends and gaps in knowledge. Identify areas where more research is needed or where existing studies have conflicting results.

Consider practical relevance

Think about the practical implications of the research topic. Is it relevant to current educational challenges or issues? Will the findings have the potential to inform and improve educational practice?

Consult with experts

Seek guidance from professors, researchers, or professionals in the field of education. Discuss your potential research topics with them and get their insights and recommendations. They can provide valuable feedback and suggest areas that align with your research goals.

Narrow down the scope

Once you have a general idea, narrow down your topic to make it more focused and manageable. Consider the available resources, time constraints, and the feasibility of conducting research in that specific area.

Define research objectives

Clearly define your research objectives and questions. What specific aspects of the topic do you want to explore? Ensure that your research objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Research feasibility

Consider the availability of data and resources required to conduct research on your chosen topic. Evaluate whether you have access to relevant literature, data sources, or research participants. Additionally, consider ethical considerations and any potential constraints that may impact your research.

Seek feedback

Share your potential research topic with peers or mentors and seek their feedback. They can provide valuable insights, suggest improvements, or offer alternative perspectives.

Remember, selecting a research topic is an iterative process. It’s essential to be flexible and open to adjustments as you gather more information and refine your research objectives.

15+ College educational research topics

  • The effectiveness of flipped classrooms in improving student engagement and learning outcomes.
  • The impact of online learning on student achievement and retention rates.
  • Strategies for promoting critical thinking skills in college classrooms.
  • The influence of active learning techniques on student participation and comprehension.
  • The role of project-based learning in developing real-world skills among college students.
  • Factors influencing student motivation and engagement in higher education.
  • The effectiveness of peer tutoring programs in supporting student learning and success.
  • The impact of online discussion forums on student interaction and collaboration.
  • The role of feedback and assessment in enhancing student learning and performance.
  • The relationship between classroom environment and student academic achievement.
  • Strategies for promoting effective communication skills among college students.
  • The impact of experiential learning opportunities on student career readiness.
  • The effectiveness of blended learning approaches in higher education.
  • The role of metacognition in promoting deep learning among college students.
  • The impact of diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus climate and student experiences.
  • Factors influencing student decision-making in choosing majors and career paths.
  • The effectiveness of student support services (e.g., counseling, tutoring, mentoring) in promoting student success.
  • The relationship between student engagement in co-curricular activities and academic performance.

15+ Health educational research topics

  • The effectiveness of health education programs in reducing risky behaviors among teenagers.
  • The impact of school-based physical activity interventions on children’s health and well-being.
  • The role of nutrition education in promoting healthy eating habits among adolescents.
  • The effectiveness of sex education programs in reducing teen pregnancy rates.
  • The impact of mental health education on student well-being and academic performance.
  • The effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing stress and improving mental health among students.
  • The role of health education in preventing substance abuse among young adults.
  • The impact of comprehensive sex education on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to sexual health.
  • The effectiveness of school-based vaccination programs in improving immunization rates among students.
  • The role of physical education in promoting lifelong physical activity and healthy lifestyle habits.
  • The impact of school wellness policies on student health outcomes.
  • The effectiveness of health literacy interventions in improving health knowledge and behaviors.
  • The role of peer education in promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention among young people.
  • The impact of nutrition education on reducing childhood obesity rates.
  • The effectiveness of school-based bullying prevention programs on student mental health and well-being.
  • The role of school nurses in promoting health and providing healthcare services to students.
  • The impact of health education on knowledge and behaviors related to hygiene and disease prevention.

15+ Educational research topics on Medicine

  • The effectiveness of online medical education in comparison to traditional classroom-based education.
  • The impact of simulation-based training on medical students’ clinical skills and confidence.
  • Strategies for promoting interprofessional education and collaboration in healthcare settings.
  • The role of virtual reality in medical education and its impact on knowledge retention and skill development.
  • The use of gamification in medical education to enhance engagement and learning outcomes.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of problem-based learning (PBL) in medical schools.
  • Assessing the impact of clinical rotations on medical students’ clinical competency and preparedness.
  • Exploring the integration of cultural competency training in medical education curricula.
  • Investigating the use of e-portfolios for reflective practice and competency assessment in medical education.
  • The effectiveness of flipped classroom models in medical education.
  • Investigating the impact of longitudinal clerkships on medical students’ professional identity formation.
  • Examining the use of standardized patients in medical education and their impact on students’ communication and clinical skills.
  • Exploring the role of medical simulation centers in enhancing medical students’ procedural skills and patient safety.
  • Investigating the impact of peer teaching and peer-assisted learning in medical education.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of team-based learning (TBL) in medical education.
  • Investigating the use of virtual patient cases for clinical reasoning and decision-making skills development.
  • The role of medical humanities in developing empathy and cultural understanding among medical students.

15+ Educational research topics on Environment

  • The effectiveness of environmental education programs in promoting environmental awareness and behavior change among students.
  • Investigating the role of schools in fostering environmental literacy and sustainability.
  • Assessing the impact of outdoor learning experiences on students’ environmental knowledge and attitudes.
  • Exploring the effectiveness of the environmental education curriculum in developing students’ eco-literacy.
  • Investigating the relationship between environmental education and pro-environmental behavior in children.
  • Examining the impact of environmental education on students’ attitudes towards conservation and environmental stewardship.
  • Investigating the role of teachers in promoting environmental education and sustainability practices in schools.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of school recycling programs in reducing waste and promoting environmental responsibility.
  • Investigating the impact of school gardens on students’ understanding of and connection to the environment.
  • Exploring the role of environmental education in fostering climate change awareness and action among students.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of environmental education interventions in addressing environmental justice issues.
  • Investigating the impact of environmental education on students’ understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.
  • Exploring the use of technology and digital tools in enhancing environmental education and engagement.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of environmental education in promoting sustainable consumption and lifestyle choices.
  • Investigating the role of environmental education in mitigating environmental pollution and promoting environmental health.

15+ Educational research topics on Sport and Entertainment

  • The impact of physical education on academic performance.
  • Strategies for promoting physical activity among children and adolescents.
  • The role of sports in character development and life skills acquisition.
  • The influence of sports participation on self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • The effectiveness of coaching styles in enhancing athlete performance and motivation.
  • The impact of sport on social integration and community development.
  • The role of sports in promoting gender equality and empowerment.
  • The relationship between sports and academic engagement among student-athletes.
  • The effects of sports specialization on long-term athletic success and well-being.
  • The role of sports in promoting mental health and well-being.
  • Strategies for preventing and managing sports-related injuries among athletes.
  • The impact of sports marketing and sponsorship on consumer behavior.
  • The influence of sports media on public perception and participation in sports.
  • The role of entertainment education in promoting health and well-being.
  • The effects of celebrity endorsements in the entertainment industry.
  • The impact of music and dance education on cognitive development and academic achievement.
  • The use of virtual reality and augmented reality in sports training and entertainment experiences.
  • The effects of video games on cognitive skills and decision-making abilities in sports.

15+ Educational research topics for college students

  • The effectiveness of online learning in higher education.
  • The impact of student engagement on academic performance in college.
  • Strategies for improving critical thinking skills in college students.
  • The role of self-regulated learning in college success.
  • The effects of student motivation on academic achievement in college.
  • The impact of flipped classrooms on student learning in college.
  • The effectiveness of peer tutoring programs in college settings.
  • The influence of social media on student well-being and academic performance in college.
  • The benefits and challenges of incorporating experiential learning in college curricula.
  • The relationship between college student stress levels and academic performance.
  • The impact of diverse learning environments on student learning outcomes in college.
  • Strategies for promoting effective time management skills among college students.
  • The role of metacognitive strategies in improving study habits and academic success in college.
  • The effectiveness of active learning strategies in college classrooms.
  • The influence of cultural competence in teaching and learning in college settings.
  • The effects of collaborative learning on student engagement and academic achievement in college.
  • The role of feedback and assessment practices in enhancing student learning in college.
  • The impact of study abroad programs on intercultural competency development in college students.

15+ Educational research topics on Media and Communication

  • The influence of media literacy education on critical thinking skills of students.
  • The role of social media in shaping students’ attitudes and behaviors.
  • The impact of media use on academic performance and learning outcomes.
  • Effective strategies for teaching media literacy in the classroom.
  • The use of digital media in promoting creativity and expression among students.
  • The effects of media violence on children and adolescents.
  • Media representations of diverse cultures and their effects on students’ perceptions.
  • The role of media in shaping students’ political and social awareness.
  • The influence of the media on body image and self-esteem among students.
  • Media literacy and its relationship to digital citizenship.
  • The role of media in promoting cultural understanding and tolerance among students.
  • The impact of media on students’ language development and communication skills.
  • The use of media in promoting active learning and student engagement.
  • The effects of social media on students’ social interactions and relationships.
  • The role of media in enhancing students’ information literacy skills.
  • Media portrayal of gender roles and its impact on students’ attitudes and beliefs.
  • The use of multimedia in improving students’ retention and comprehension of educational content.
  • The influence of the media on students’ decision-making processes.

15+ Educational research topics on Technology

  • The impact of online learning platforms on student engagement and academic performance.
  • The effectiveness of educational apps in enhancing early childhood learning.
  • The role of virtual reality in improving students’ understanding of complex concepts.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of gamification in motivating students to learn.
  • The use of artificial intelligence in personalized learning: benefits and challenges.
  • Exploring the impact of mobile devices on student collaboration and information sharing.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of online discussion forums in promoting critical thinking skills.
  • The use of educational video content for enhancing student comprehension and retention.
  • Investigating the role of social media in supporting collaborative learning environments.
  • The impact of coding and programming education on students’ problem-solving abilities.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of blended learning models in K-12 classrooms.
  • The influence of technology on teacher-student relationships and classroom dynamics.
  • Investigating the factors influencing teachers’ adoption of technology in the classroom.
  • The use of educational robotics in promoting STEM education and computational thinking skills.
  • Examining the effects of digital storytelling on students’ creativity and narrative skills.
  • The impact of online assessment tools on student performance and feedback effectiveness.
  • Investigating the role of artificial intelligence in adaptive learning and personalized instruction.

15+ Educational research topics on Politics

  • The influence of political ideologies on civic education.
  • The role of political socialization in shaping young citizens’ political attitudes.
  • The impact of political party affiliation on educational policies.
  • The effectiveness of civic education programs in promoting political participation among youth.
  • The influence of political bias in educational materials and its implications for student learning.
  • The role of education in fostering democratic values and citizenship.
  • The impact of political discourse in the classroom on student engagement and critical thinking.
  • The relationship between political knowledge and voting behavior among college students.
  • The representation of political issues and controversies in educational curricula.
  • The impact of political activism and student protests on educational institutions.
  • The influence of political factors on educational funding and resource allocation.
  • The role of education in promoting tolerance and understanding in politically divided societies.
  • The impact of political polarization on classroom dynamics and educational outcomes.
  • The role of educational institutions in promoting political literacy and informed decision-making.
  • The effects of political campaign advertising on students’ political attitudes and behavior.
  • The impact of political decentralization on educational governance and policies.
  • The role of education in addressing social justice issues and promoting political equality.

15+ Educational research topics on Thesis

  • The effectiveness of project-based learning in enhancing student engagement and achievement.
  • The impact of teacher-student relationships on student motivation and academic performance.
  • The role of parental involvement in students’ academic success.
  • The influence of socioeconomic status on educational opportunities and outcomes.
  • The effects of inclusive education on students with disabilities.
  • The effectiveness of differentiated instruction in meeting the diverse learning needs of students.
  • The impact of early childhood education on long-term academic and social development.
  • The role of assessment and feedback in promoting student learning and achievement.
  • The effectiveness of online learning compared to traditional classroom instruction.
  • The relationship between school climate and student well-being and academic success.
  • The impact of teacher professional development on instructional practices and student outcomes.
  • The effectiveness of peer tutoring in enhancing student learning and academic performance.
  • The influence of cultural diversity on classroom dynamics and student learning experiences.
  • The effects of homework on student achievement and overall well-being.
  • The role of educational leadership in school improvement and student success.
  • The impact of social-emotional learning programs on students’ social skills and emotional well-being.
  • The effectiveness of educational interventions for students with learning disabilities.
  • The relationship between teacher beliefs and instructional practices in the classroom.
  • The role of school counseling in supporting students’ academic and personal development.
  • The effects of school-based nutrition programs on students’ health and academic performance.

15+ Psychology Educational research topics

  • The influence of the classroom environment on student motivation and learning.
  • The effects of teacher-student relationships on academic achievement and social-emotional development.
  • The impact of mindfulness-based interventions on student well-being and academic performance.
  • Gender differences in academic achievement and career choices in STEM fields.
  • The role of self-efficacy in student learning and academic success.
  • The effects of bullying on students’ psychological well-being and academic performance.
  • The relationship between parental involvement and student achievement.
  • The effectiveness of different teaching strategies in promoting critical thinking skills.
  • The impact of peer tutoring on student learning outcomes.
  • The role of motivation in academic procrastination among students.
  • The effects of classroom diversity on intergroup relations and academic achievement.
  • The relationship between learning styles and academic performance.
  • The influence of educational technology on cognitive processes and learning outcomes.
  • The effects of stress on students’ cognitive functioning and academic performance.
  • The role of emotional intelligence in student success and well-being.
  • The impact of extracurricular activities on students’ social and emotional development.
  • The effectiveness of positive reinforcement techniques in classroom management and student behavior.

15+ Educational research topics on Sociology

  • The influence of social class on educational attainment.
  • The impact of cultural diversity in the classroom on student learning.
  • The role of gender in educational achievement and career choices.
  • Examining the effects of racial and ethnic segregation in schools.
  • Exploring the relationship between teacher expectations and student performance.
  • Investigating the effects of social capital on educational outcomes.
  • Analyzing the impact of poverty on educational opportunities.
  • Examining the role of social networks in students’ academic success.
  • The influence of family background and socioeconomic status on educational outcomes.
  • Exploring the effects of tracking and ability grouping in schools.
  • Investigating the impact of school discipline policies on marginalized student populations.
  • Examining the role of socialization in shaping students’ attitudes and behaviors.
  • Analyzing the effects of peer influence on academic performance and engagement.
  • Investigating the role of teacher-student relationships in student motivation and achievement.
  • Exploring the effects of school climate and culture on student well-being and learning.
  • Analyzing the impact of educational policies on educational equity and social justice.
  • Investigating the relationship between educational institutions and social inequality.
  • Exploring the effects of cultural capital on educational access and success.

15+ Educational research topics on Culture

  • The influence of cultural diversity on student achievement in multicultural classrooms.
  • The role of cultural sensitivity in teacher-student interactions and its impact on student learning outcomes.
  • Exploring the relationship between cultural background and student engagement in the classroom.
  • Investigating the effects of culturally responsive teaching practices on academic performance.
  • Examining the impact of culturally relevant curriculum on student motivation and self-esteem.
  • The role of cultural values in shaping parental involvement in education.
  • Exploring the impact of culturally inclusive pedagogy on student attitudes towards diversity.
  • Investigating the challenges and benefits of integrating culturally diverse literature in the classroom.
  • The influence of cultural identity on student resilience and academic success.
  • Examining the impact of cultural competency training on teachers’ ability to meet the needs of culturally diverse students.
  • Investigating the role of cultural factors in shaping educational policies and practices.
  • The impact of cultural integration programs on social cohesion and intercultural understanding in schools.
  • Exploring the relationship between cultural competence of school leaders and the school climate.
  • Investigating the influence of cultural stereotypes on teacher expectations and student outcomes.
  • The role of cultural capital in educational achievement and attainment.
  • Examining the impact of multicultural education on reducing prejudice and discrimination among students.
  • Investigating the effects of cultural immersion experiences on students’ understanding of global citizenship.

15+ Leadership  Educational research topics

  • The role of transformational leadership in improving student achievement.
  • Exploring the relationship between instructional leadership and teacher effectiveness.
  • Investigating the impact of distributed leadership on school culture and climate.
  • Examining the influence of ethical leadership on organizational trust in educational institutions.
  • The role of instructional coaching in supporting teacher leadership and professional development.
  • Investigating the leadership practices that promote teacher collaboration and collective efficacy.
  • Exploring the impact of principal leadership on teacher job satisfaction and retention.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of distributed leadership in facilitating educational change.
  • The role of servant leadership in promoting a positive school climate and student well-being.
  • Exploring the relationship between instructional leadership and student engagement.
  • Investigating the impact of instructional leadership on the implementation of evidence-based practices.
  • The role of leadership in fostering parent and community engagement in schools.
  • Examining the effectiveness of instructional leadership in promoting educational equity and closing achievement gaps.
  • Investigating the leadership practices that facilitate successful school turnaround efforts.
  • Exploring the impact of leadership development programs on leadership capacity in educational settings.
  • Investigating the relationship between leadership styles and teacher motivation and job satisfaction.
  • The role of distributed leadership in promoting instructional improvement and professional learning communities.

15+ Educational research topics for For Middle School

  • The effectiveness of project-based learning in middle school classrooms.
  • The impact of differentiated instruction on student achievement in mathematics.
  • The role of physical activity and its influence on academic performance.
  • The benefits of incorporating educational games in middle school curriculum.
  • The effects of peer tutoring on student engagement and learning outcomes.
  • The relationship between parental involvement and academic success in middle school.
  • The impact of social-emotional learning programs on student behavior and well-being.
  • The effectiveness of flipped classrooms in middle school science education.
  • The influence of arts education on creativity and critical thinking skills.
  • The role of mindfulness techniques in improving attention and concentration in middle school students.
  • The benefits of incorporating multicultural literature in middle school English language arts.
  • The impact of inquiry-based learning on student motivation and scientific inquiry skills.
  • The effectiveness of cooperative learning strategies in middle school social studies classrooms.
  • The relationship between school climate and student academic performance.
  • The impact of technology integration on middle school students’ digital literacy skills.
  • The benefits of incorporating financial literacy education in middle school curriculum.
  • The role of teacher-student relationships in promoting a positive classroom environment.

15+ Educational research topics for For High School

  • The effects of implementing project-based learning on student engagement and academic performance.
  • The impact of flipped classrooms on student learning and retention of content.
  • The role of teacher-student relationships in promoting academic success and well-being in high school.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different instructional methods (e.g., lecture, group work, online learning) in high school classrooms.
  • Examining the influence of parental involvement on high school students’ academic achievement.
  • The relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance in high school.
  • Exploring the effectiveness of different assessment methods (e.g., tests, projects, portfolios) in measuring high school students’ learning outcomes.
  • Investigating the impact of integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) programs in high school curriculum on students’ well-being and academic achievement.
  • The effects of incorporating technology in high school classrooms on students’ motivation and learning outcomes.
  • Investigating the factors influencing high school students’ career decision-making and exploring effective career guidance approaches.
  • Examining the impact of different teaching strategies on high school students’ critical thinking skills.
  • Exploring the role of student voice and participation in decision-making processes in high schools.
  • Investigating the effects of school climate and culture on high school students’ academic performance and well-being.
  • The influence of parental expectations and aspirations on high school students’ educational attainment.
  • Examining the impact of personalized learning approaches on high school students’ achievement and motivation.
  • Investigating the effects of teacher professional development programs on instructional practices and student outcomes in high schools.
  • The relationship between high school students’ self-regulation skills and academic achievement.

Tips to write educational research topics

Here are some tips to help you write effective educational research topics:

Identify a specific research problem: Start by identifying a specific issue or problem within the field of education that you want to investigate. Narrow down your topic to a specific aspect or area that interests you.

Be clear and concise: Formulate your research topic in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using vague or general terms. Make sure your topic is specific enough to guide your research and provide focus.

Consider the significance and relevance: Ensure that your research topic is significant and relevant to the field of education. Think about the potential impact and contribution of your research to the existing knowledge base.

Conduct a literature review: Before finalizing your research topic, conduct a literature review to familiarize yourself with the existing research and identify any gaps or areas for further investigation. This will help you refine your topic and ensure its originality.

Consult with experts: Seek feedback from your professors, advisors, or other experts in the field of education. They can provide valuable insights and suggestions for refining your research topic.

Formulate research questions or objectives: Once you have identified your research problem, formulate specific research questions or objectives that you aim to address in your study. These will guide your research and provide a clear focus.

Consider feasibility: Evaluate the feasibility of your research topic in terms of available resources, data availability, and ethical considerations. Make sure your topic is manageable within the given constraints.

Stay flexible: Keep in mind that your research topic may evolve as you delve deeper into the literature and conduct your research. Be open to adjustments and modifications along the way to ensure that your topic remains relevant and aligned with your research goals.

By following these tips, you can develop a strong and focused educational research topic that will serve as the foundation for your study.

In conclusion, educational research topics play a crucial role in advancing our understanding of various aspects of education. These topics provide opportunities to explore innovative teaching methods, evaluate the impact of interventions, and investigate factors that influence student learning and well-being. 

By conducting research in high school settings, we can identify effective instructional strategies, examine the role of technology, and understand the importance of student-teacher relationships. Additionally, research topics in education shed light on the significance of parental involvement, extracurricular activities, and social-emotional learning in promoting student success. 

Through rigorous investigation, educational research topics contribute to evidence-based practices that can enhance educational outcomes and create a positive impact on the lives of high school students.

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17 Best Project Topics in Health Education

project topics in health education pdf

17 best project topics in health education and complete research paper PDF and DOC file can be gotten from this page with up to date Harvard or APA referencing style.

Final year students of federal and state colleges of education can now write their final year project without so much hassle especially those in departments of health education.

When it comes to choosing final year project topics in health education, there are many factors to consider. You want to choose a topic that is both interesting and meaningful, one that will make a difference in your Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).

With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start or what to choose. However, by keeping a few key points in mind, you can narrow down your choices and find a topic that is perfect for you.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best health education project topics for federal and state college of education students acquiring Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) .

If you are pursuing your master’s degree and looking to write your postgraduate thesis, this is a great resource you can use in your thesis. The main purpose of this compilation is to help guide you to find the right research work for your profession. Take your time to find some of them below.

What are the contents of a typical final year project research on Health Education

A final year project research typically contains an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and discussion.

  • The chapter one contains the introduction which provides an overview of the research topic and sets the stage for the rest of the paper.
  • The chapter two contains the literature review . The literature review summarizes previous research on the topic and provides a rationale for the current study.
  • Chapter three contains the methodology . The methodology of every research work describes the research design and methods used to collect and analyze data.
  • The chapter four contains the results and discussions . The results section presents the findings of the study, and the discussion interprets the findings and places them in context.
  • The last chapter is the fifth chapter and it summarizes all that have discussed in the work and then gives recommendations.

Following the chapter five is the references page. This is where all the references have been written out.

What Steps Can I take to Make My Health Education Project Successful

When it comes to writing a final year health education project, there are a few key elements that should be included in order to make it successful. Here are some of the best topics and ideas to consider when putting together your project:

Choose a topic that is relevant and interesting.

Your project should be something that you are passionate about and that will capture the attention of your readers. It should also be something that is relevant to the current health landscape. This will ensure that your project is valuable and has a real impact.

Make sure your research is thorough.

Your project should be based on solid research so that it can offer new insights or perspectives on the chosen topic. Be sure to consult with experts in the field and look at multiple sources of information online before coming to any conclusions.

Present your findings in an engaging way.

Use the best kind of words to convey the message you are trying to convey. Avoid ambiguous words or thoughts that could confuse your readers.

What should I avoid when writing my Health Education final year research work

There are a few things to avoid when writing your final year research work:

  • Don’t procrastinate! Start early and give yourself plenty of time to write and revise your work.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your supervisor or other experts.
  • Make sure you understand the requirements of the assignment and follow all the instructions carefully.
  • Don’t plagiarize! This is a surefire way to get into trouble and ruin your chances of getting a good grade or being published.
  • Don’t forget to cite your sources! This shows that you’ve done your research and helps to back up your arguments.
  • Pay attention to detail and proofread your work thoroughly before submitting it.


What are the Project Topics in Health Education

Here are some interesting topics you can begin to work on immediately if you are looking to do your final year project in health education.

Promoting healthy eating habits in school children

More than half of Nigerian children consume too much sugar on a daily basis, which can lead to obesity and other health problems. To help combat this issue, schools should promote healthy eating habits in their students . There are a few ways to do this, such as having a school garden, teaching kids about nutrition , and providing healthy food options in the cafeteria.

One way to promote healthy eating habits in school children is by having a school garden. Kids can learn where their food comes from and how to cook healthy meals. They can also get some exercise by helping to take care of the garden.

Another way to teach kids about healthy eating is by teaching them about nutrition. They can learn about the different food groups and what nutrients they need to stay healthy.

So, this is a good area of study if you are looking to do your final year project in health education.

Creating an exercise program for seniors

This topic is one of the best health education project topics you can take on in your final year.

When it comes to starting an exercise program , seniors have different needs and abilities than other age groups. But that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from regular physical activity. In fact, exercise is important for seniors because it can help improve strength, balance, and flexibility; reduce the risk of falls; and boost energy levels.

So how do you go about creating an exercise program for seniors? First, check with a doctor or other healthcare provider to get clearance to start working out. Once you have the green light, start slowly and gradually build up intensity as tolerated. Focus on activities that are low-impact and easy on the joints, such as walking, swimming, or Tai Chi. And be sure to include a mix of aerobic activity (to get the heart pumping) and strength-training (to build muscle).

If you are passionate in this area you may take on this topic in your final year project.

Implementing a smoking cessation program in the workplace

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in Nigeria, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths each year . Despite this, nearly one in five adults still smoke cigarettes.

Workplaces are uniquely positioned to help employees quit smoking and improve their health. Workplace smoking cessation programs can provide education on the dangers of smoking, support and resources to help employees quit, and create a tobacco-free environment that discourages smoking.

There are many benefits to implementing a workplace smoking cessation program. Employees who quit smoking enjoy improve health, increased productivity, and reduced healthcare costs. Employers also see benefits, including lower healthcare costs and improved morale among employees.

If you’re thinking about implementing a workplace smoking cessation program, there are a few things to keep in mind. These and more are some of what you will evaluate in this project work .

Developing a corporate wellness program

More and more companies are looking into developing corporate wellness programs as a way to improve employee productivity and morale. Studies have shown that employees who are physically healthy and have access to resources to help them stay healthy are more likely to be productive and engaged at work.

There are a number of different ways to develop a corporate wellness program, but some of the most effective include offering health education classes, providing access to on-site fitness facilities or gym memberships, and offering incentives for employees to participate.

In this study, you’ll be evaluating the various strategies and methods of developing a corporate wellness program for various work settings.

Designing a health promotion campaign for a specific population group

This is one of the best health education projects for final years. In this study, you’ll looking at some of the various of designing a health promotion campaign for a named group.

Evaluating the effectiveness of a health education program

In public health , it is essential to design and implement effective health education programs. These programs must be evidence-based and tailored to the needs of the target population.

The first step in evaluating the effectiveness of a health education program is to identify the desired outcomes. Once these outcomes are clear, indicators can be developed to measure progress towards them. Data can be collected through surveys, interviews, focus groups, or other methods.

Once data have been collected, they need to be analyzed and interpreted. This analysis will help to determine whether the program is achieving its desired outcomes and whether it needs to be revised or improved.

Evaluating the effectiveness of health education programs is essential for ensuring that they are making a positive impact on public health.

If you are interested in studying the effectiveness of health education programs in maintaining the overall health of a population, this is a topic you should take on.

Developing an exercise plan for sedentary adults

This topic is designed to evaluate and create strategies to develop an exercise for adult who don’t engage in so much physical activities. The study will evaluate some of the effects of being inactive and and then proffer solutions on how to handle the effects.

Implementing a tobacco-free policy in the workplace

A tobacco-free policy in the workplace can be a great way to improve employee health and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. Here are some ideas that could help implement a tobacco-free policy:

  • Review the risks and benefits of tobacco use, including for employees.
  • Educate employees about the importance of quitting smoking and how to obtain support.
  • Create signage or stickers promoting a tobacco-free policy, and provide training on how to enforce it.
  • Work with your human resources department to create a plan for addressing any disciplinary issues related to smoking in the workplace.
  • Encourage smokers who want to quit to seek assistance from certified Quit Lines or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) programs available through many hospitals and clinics.

If you are looking to create a behavioral change in corporate spaces, you might want to study this area to help improve the quality of lives.

Creating a wellness program for employees

Creating a wellness program that encourages employees to maintain good health is important not only for their own wellbeing, but also for the company’s bottom line. By providing resources and support, we can help our employees stay healthy and productive both on the job . This topic evaluates how a good wellness program for employees helps to increase the general staff wellbeing of a company.

Promoting seatbelt use and safe driving habits

Looking for ways to promote seatbelt use and safe driving habits? This topic is designed to provide just the solution! We’re excited to offer a study on how to use your seatbelt properly. This research will evaluate and show the many importance of promoting the use of seatbelts amongst drivers. It will also examine other safe driving habits drivers should also imbibe.

Evaluating health risks in the workplace: A case study at XYZ

Health risks in the workplace can be a big concern for employees. It’s important to evaluate these risks and make sure that the workplace is as safe as possible for everyone involved.

Are you looking for ways to protect your health while in the workplace? Do you want to know about the health risks associated with your job? This research work will help! This study will evaluate your health risks and recommend measures to protect you while at work.

Evaluating health risks in the communities: A case study at XYZ

The health risks in each community are evaluated to ensure that everyone living there is safe. The team of experts uses their knowledge and experience to find ways to make each community a safer place.

Furthermore, they use a variety of methods to assess the health of the people living there, such as measuring air quality, compiling data on births and deaths, and surveying people. In this study, you’ll be evaluating the quality of health of a given community and the health risks in the same community.

The role of health education in disease prevention

Health education is an important part of disease prevention. It helps people learn about the risks associated with diseases and how to prevent them from happening. This information can help them stay healthy and prevent illnesses from becoming serious. In this project work, you’ll be helping your audience learn the importance of health education in disease prevention.

The impact of health education on health outcomes

Health education has a powerful impact on health outcomes – it can help people make healthier choices and get the most out of their health care. It can also help people stay healthy and prevent illnesses. This is one of the best health education project topics you can work on.

The challenges of implementing effective health education programs

Implementing health education programs can be a challenge, but with the help of the right tools and strategies, it can be a very rewarding experience. There are many different ways to approach health education, and it is important to find one that works for everyone.

In this study, you’ll be looking at some of the common challenges of implementing effective health education programs and possible strategies to curb them.

Best practices for designing and implementing health education programs

Health education is crucial for maintaining good health and preventing illness. In order to create effective and engaging health education programs, there are a number of best practices to follow. In this particular study, you’ll help your readers discover the various best practices foe designing and implementing health education programs.

The importance of health education in improving public health

Public health is a complex issue that affects everyone in our community. One way to improve public health is through education. Health education can help people learn about their health, how to prevent and manage diseases, and the importance of taking care of their health. These and more are what you’ll study in this research work.


How to Hire a Research Project Writer in Health Education

When you are looking to hire a research project writer in health education, there are some things that you will need to keep in mind.

  • First, it is important to find someone with experience in the field who can provide quality work. Be sure to ask for samples of previous work to get an idea of the writer’s experience and skills.
  • Secondly, you want to find a writer who is able to take on your project and complete it in a timely manner. It is essential to work with a professional who can provide high-quality writing services and meet deadlines.
  • Also, it is advised you find a writer who is passionate about health education and has a strong understanding of the latest research in the field.
  • Furthermore, you want to make sure that the writer is able to meet your budget. This is very important. Ensure you agree on a price before starting the project to avoid any misunderstandings later on.

By following these tips, you can be sure to find the best possible writer for your health education research project.


Where Can I Find a Good Writer for my Health Education Project Work

  • There are many places that you can look for a research project writer in health education. One place to start your search is by looking online. Check online forums and resources for the best hands. We have some good writers here and we can help you hire one in our resource.
  • You can also contact your friends and ask if they have any recommendations. Another option is to hire a freelance writer who has experience with health education projects.
  • Once you have found a few potential writers, you will want to set up interviews with each one. During the interview, be sure to ask about their experience in the field of health education and their writing style.


New Undergraduate and Postgraduate Research Project Topics in Health Education PDF Download

There are many fantastic project topics in health education that can be explored. Some ideas to get you started have been discussed here already. These are just a few of the many topics that could be covered in an educational project .

Please keep in mind that whatever your project focus, be sure to consult with experts and use the latest resources in order to create an effective work. Finally, remember to keep your readers in mind by tailoring your message to their specific needs and interests.

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please let us know! Thank you for reading and we hope this article has helped you find some great project topics in health education and ideas.


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Research topics and trends in medical education by social network analysis

1 Biomedical Knowledge Engineering Laboratory, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2 National Center of Excellence in Software, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Hong Gee Kim

3 Center for Innovative in Dental Education, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Soo-Kyoung Lee

4 College of Nursing, Keimyung University, 1095 Dalgubeol-daero, Dalseo-Gu, Daegu, 42601 Republic of Korea

Associated Data

The datasets used in this study are stored at the College of Nursing, Keimyung University and the Center for Innovative Dental Education Korea. They are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

As studies analyzing the networks and relational structures of research topics in academic fields emerge, studies that apply methods of network and relationship analysis, such as social network analysis (SNA), are drawing more attention. The purpose of this study is to explore the interaction of medical education subjects in the framework of complex systems theory using SNA and to analyze the trends in medical education.

The authors extracted keywords using Medical Subject Headings terms from 9,379 research articles (162,866 keywords) published in 1963–2015 in PubMed. They generated an occurrence frequency matrix, calculated relatedness using Weighted Jaccard Similarity, and analyzed and visualized the networks with Gephi software.

Newly emerging topics by period units were identified as historical trends, and 20 global-level topic clusters were obtained through network analysis. A time-series analysis led to the definition of five historical periods: the waking phase (1963–1975), the birth phase (1976–1990), the growth phase (1991–1996), the maturity phase (1997–2005), and the expansion phase (2006–2015).


The study analyzed the trends in medical education research using SNA and analyzed their meaning using complex systems theory. During the 53-year period studied, medical education research has been subdivided and has expanded, improved, and changed along with shifts in society’s needs. By analyzing the trends in medical education using the conceptual framework of complex systems theory, the research team determined that medical education is forming a sense of the voluntary order within the field of medicine by interacting with social studies, philosophy, etc., and establishing legitimacy and originality.

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (10.1186/s12909-018-1323-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

An ancient scholar, Aristotle, established the basis of predicate logic, which divides knowledge into the smallest units and expresses it by linking them together (Sung-ho H: Structure and emergence analyses of knowledge network based on the social network analysis (SNA) methods: Focused on chungcheong strategic industries, unpublished) [ 1 ]. Recent studies have begun to use social network analysis as a means to analyze the trends of studies and understand the knowledge systems of each field by analyzing previously researched results. Generally, the purpose of research trend analysis in a particular academic field is to comprehend the current state of research by examining the existing results and to present future research directions [ 2 ].

Research trend analysis has been conducted for articles published in representative journals in medical education (ME), and its results serve as fundamental measures for securing academic identity [ 3 , 4 ]. Analysis is being conducted from multiple angles to confirm this identity from a holistic perspective, and research methods analyzing the relationship through the application of SNA in research trend analysis are steadily increasing in the social studies field.

The study of trends in medical education analyzes the entire academic field or the subject of a particular academic field. There are studies taking quantitative approaches such as those analyzing the frequency of medical training in medical education [ 4 – 8 ]. Other examples include studies that a) focused on the main subjects studied in medical education by analyzing common research topics in medical education from six journals [ 4 ], b) analyzed the co-topics occurring frequently in ME articles and the differences among journals’ publication of co-topics [ 9 ], c) focused on top-cited articles identified by keyword search [ 10 ], and d) focused on network analysis of the researchers in medical education [ 11 ]. In addition, analysis of unit subjects in specific academic fields, such as an analysis of the trends in research topics including a study on the geographical distribution of researchers whose works have published in major journals of medical education [ 12 ] and a study on the social relationships of medical students and the dispersion of their attitudes [ 13 ], have been conducted steadily each year.

These studies are meaningful in that they analyze the trends of medical education subjects from a macro perspective or study specific research topics from a micro perspective, thus enabling the analysis of the trends in medical education and its knowledge system. However, this method requires the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data, demanding considerable time and manpower for interpretation. In addition, it is highly likely that researchers rely on the knowledge, experience, and insight of experts during analysis [ 14 , 15 ]. In addition, the analysis has to be conducted by sorting the impactful keywords based on frequency [ 9 , 11 ] or citation factors [ 10 ] or through keyword analysis by topics [ 4 ]. However, such methods are limited in their ability to identify historical changes in the relationships between specific topics. SNA is a commonly accepted method for quantitatively and visually obtaining the overall structures of network connections.

As studies analyzing the networks and relational structures of research topics in academic fields emerge, studies that apply methods of network and relationship analysis, such as SNA, are drawing more attention [ 16 ]. General methods of analyzing research trends include using co-word analysis on keywords extracted from databases [ 10 , 11 ], co-citation analysis using the citation information of articles [ 12 ]. And there have also been studies on topics network analysis [ 13 , 16 – 18 ].

SNA is an actively utilized method that recognizes and interprets complex phenomena under micro units as an issue of order [ 17 ]. Exploring the interactions and qualitative changes in research topics in medical education according to the framework of complex systems theory will provide new answers regarding the knowledge network of medical education. Unlike previous quantitative studies on the issues in medical education, this paper aims to identify the phases of medical education distinguished by changing topics and explore the topics that emerge during the phases.

Therefore, the study utilizes SNA to investigate the interaction patterns among the issues in medical education by applying the framework of complex systems theory [ 18 ] and realistically contemplating the abstract knowledge network of medical education.

In order to grasp the features of research trends in the field of medical education, the study extracted social-network keywords connected to terms from the title and abstract of available articles in Medline. Mesh terms were used during the process of retrieving articles from Pubmed, and the keyword extraction was conducted through text analysis. The information used for the analysis in this paper includes the title, abstract, and publication year of the paper. Since MeSH terms are not attached to all of the papers to be analyzed in this study, the authors extracted the keywords using the TextRank algorithm from the text consisting of the title and abstract. The TextRank algorithm is advantageous in that it provides high performance without being influenced by the linguistic characteristics of the text to be analyzed (Mihalcea R, Tarau P: TextRank - bringing order into texts. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, unpublished). A more detailed analysis was conducted by collecting the articles for analysis. This analysis included 1) category-setting through analysis of keyword similarity, 2) performing content analysis on the keywords, 3) analyzing the resulting network, and 4) conducting a trend analysis.

In June 2015, we searched PubMed for articles indexed under the “medical” major topic whose titles or abstracts included the term “medical education.” Our query terms included related terms such as “medical learner,” “medical teacher,” “medical teaching,” “medical training,” “medical learning,” and “medical education.” In this stage, two researchers reviewed and evaluated the list of keywords. For all of the papers, the extracted keywords with the use of the TextRank Algorithm underwent a refining process by two researchers. During the refining process, in order to refine the keywords, we looked at the whole list, checked and summarized the thesaurus, exception list, and defined words that needed refinement, and conducted a re-analysis of keywords. For instance, the research team deleted numbers or keywords such as “the”, “% +/”, “% <”, “% ci -0/3”, “(99 m) tc” which make it difficult to draw out the meaning of a keyword before data analysis. They also considered singular and plural keywords, such as “cardiac problem” and “cardiac problems,” as synonyms. Moreover, abbreviations were normalized by controlling them with a list of synonyms.

Then, as the first stage in the data analysis, the team generated a frequency matrix sized 3,030X53 that consisted of the yearly frequency of all the terms and the year of publication of each article. Next, to sort out the terms, the team calculated the weighted value of the terms by applying the Term Frequency–Inverse Document Frequency (TF–IDF) formula used in the field of information search [ 19 ]. The weighted value W t,D was calculated using the formula below.

The tf(t,D) refers to the adjusted value of the sum of the frequencies of t of terms used in data collection using yearly frequency, and N from log Y y ∈ Y : t appears in y refers to the yearly range 53 {y∈Y: t appears in y}.

TF–IDF is a weighted value used in text mining, and it indicates how many times a certain word appears in a given document. The higher the value of TF-IDF, the greater its importance; this also means that the word appears often. Therefore, the value multiplies DF (Document Frequency) with IDF (Inverse Document Frequency), a reciprocal number. Since this value increases with the frequency of a specific word and decreases with the number of documents containing the word out of the total number of documents, it filters the words that appear often in most documents [ 20 ].

In order to quantitatively calculate the relationship between MeSH terms, the research team calculated the Weighted Jaccard Similarity [ 20 ].

That is, the relationship between the terms and t was calculated with the formula below, using the yearly frequency information from the frequency matrix.

Relatedness ( S ,  T ) = ∑ y mina S y T y ∑ y maxa S y T y .

Distributional Hypothesis [ 21 ] is the result of a study showing that when two words are used in the same context, these two words tend to have a similar meaning, and we assumed that there is a higher correlation between the two words if two keywords were used many times in the same year compared to the case where they were not. The science mapping principle dictates that the more related two elements are, the closer to each other they are positioned in a map [ 22 ]. This study based on the approach of distribution hypothesis and the science mapping principle for the correlation between words, the frequency value of each word’s annual appearance was used. The calculation method used in this study is a Weighted Jaccard similarity that used the appearance frequency of keywords. When using a Weighted Jaccard similarity, if two words are used together with high frequency in multiple years, they return a high similarity value.

Clustering of keywords was calculated using the Markov Cluster(MCL) Algorithm [ 23 ], which is widely applied to weight graphs in the computer science field, after constructing a graph with the keyword as the node of the graph and the similarity between the keywords as the weight of the edge between the nodes.

The MCL algorithm is a simple yet useful algorithm that is used for sequence data clustering in the biotechnology field which can be expressed as a weight graph. Therefore, it can be understood that the keywords with a high frequency of simultaneous appearance are used in the same context and have a higher correlation than other words in the same year. That is to say, they return a high similarity value.

Data analysis and interpretation

In order to analyze the process of change in research topics in the medical education field, the study used the Frequency Matrix and the Weighted Jaccard Similarity and marked the times at which clear changes occurred, such as when new keywords rapidly emerged or diminished, using yearly similarities as cut-off points. The entire data collection process was separated into five phases based on the emergence of keywords, and each phase was analyzed using SNA. In order to conduct the network analysis, the input file for Gephi, a tool used in network analysis, was generated by calculating the relevance of terms for each phase using the methods mentioned above and representing the values as the relevance between nodes. The size of each node was expressed as the authority score obtained by the HITS (Hypertext Induced Topic Selection) algorithm of Gephi [ 24 ]. The authority score enabled the extraction of main research topics by using the mutual information between the nodes that comprised the network. Here, the authority score refers to the frequency of the reception of links [ 25 ].

The study used PubMed articles that were available for electronic search using MeSH terms in October 2015. From 1963, the year of the first publication related to medical education, to 2015, a total of 9,379 articles (with 162,866 keywords) on medical education were published in PubMed, with a slow increase over time and a rapid increase since the 2000s.

Category-setting through analysis of keyword similarity

Figure  1 shows the results of the analysis of keywords by year, arranged in three-year sections. In the graph, points at which similarity begins to increase after decreasing indicate a great increase in change in keywords; these were set as phase cut-off points.

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Phase-setting by similarity

On the basis of the similarity analysis by year, phase 1 was set to range from 1963 to 1975; phase 2 from 1976 to 1990; phase 3 from 1991 to 1996; phase 4 from 1997 to 2005; and phase 5 from 2006 to 2015. The next subsection characterizes these phases by keyword (and the keywords by phase).

Content analysis in the key words

Figure  2 shows increases and decreases in the top 20 keywords newly appearing in each phase. Keywords newly emerging as research topics were as follows for each phase: From phase 1 to 2, “Internship and Residency,” “Medical Staff, Hospital,” and “Psychiatry;” from phase 2 to 3, “Problem-Based Learning,” “Program Development,” and “Health Care Reform;” from phase 3 to 4, “Internet,” “Evidence-Based Medicine,” and “Education, Distance;” and from phase 4 to 5, “Young Adult,” “Quality Improvement,” “General Practice,” “Patient Safety,” “Cultural Competency,” and “Self-Efficacy.”

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Top20 new keywords for each phase

Analysis of the resulting network

To systematically understand research trends and changes in knowledge structure in medical education over time, this study analyzed connections between keywords using social network analysis.

Figure  3 shows a schematization of the network resulting from extraction of keywords with high connectivity and high weighted value for each phase. In all, 20 clusters were schematized.

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Topic clusters in medical education

Topics in cluster 1, the largest group (comprising 19 nodes), are as follows: “Education, Medical, Graduate,” “Questionnaires,” “Clinical Competence,” and “Internship and Residency.” Cluster 2 is made up of eight nodes, under the following topics: “Middle Aged,” “Data Collection,” “Accreditation,” and “Problem-Based Learning.” Cluster 3 has seven nodes, under the following topics: “Communication,” “Career Choice,” and “Computer-Assisted Instruction.” Topics in cluster 4 are gathered around “Computer Simulation,” “Leadership,” and “User–Computer Interface.” In cluster 5, “Competency-Based Education” and “Professional Competence” are the topics, and cluster 6 mainly deals with “Adolescents,” “Fellowships and Scholarships,” and “Interview as Topic.”

Trend-watching: All five phases

Figure  4 shows the SNA over all five phases, with detailed topic networks for each phase given in the Additional files  1 , 2 , 3 , 4 and 5 : Figures S1–S5. Phase 1 (1963–1975) showed lower connectedness among research topics compared to other phases, due to the difference in scale of article publication. Central keywords included “Education, Medical, Undergraduate,” “Curriculum,” “Male,” “Female,” and “Adult.” On the basis of these keywords, a subnetwork emerged, continuing up to phase 5. In phase 2 (1976–1990), connections between central keywords grew tighter, and new keywords appeared, including “Professional Competence,” “Attitude of Health Personnel,” and “Peer Review.” In phase 3 (1991–1996), connections among keywords such as “Clinical Competency,” “Educational Measurement,” and “Physician–Patient Relations” were enhanced. In phase 4 (1997–2005), the association of keywords with high connectedness became dual, and connections among keywords such as “Data Collection,” “Problem-Based Learning,” and “Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice” were enhanced. In phase 5 (2006–2015), the number and connectedness of keywords increased, and new keywords, such as “Computer-Assisted Instruction,” “Personal Staffing and Scheduling,” “User–Computer Interface,” “Professional Competency,” “Accreditation,” “Program Evaluation,” and “Educational Measurement,” appeared.

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SNA of each historical phase of medical education

The study realistically contemplated the abstract knowledge network of medical education by identifying the network trends in medical education research topics through the use of SNA and investigating the use patterns in interactions by time. The study contains articles from the year when PubMed made it possible to electronically search for MeSH term in medical education articles, and coincidentally, this is consistent with Norman’s suggestion that a new generation of medical education has emerged [ 25 ].

The study identified five phases based on the changes in time indicated by clear differences in keyword similarities and identified newly derived keywords and networks in each phase. The clustering was conducted by deriving the keywords with high similarity using the appearance frequency values ​​of the two keywords and constructing a weighted graph based on the similarity between the keywords. This can be observed by clustering the sequences of the main keywords overall.

When the trend of the newly emerged keywords from five phases was analyzed, the keywords with the highest increase rates in all the phases, such as “Education,” “Medical,” “Humans,” “Curriculum,” “Continuing Medical Education,” and “Internship and Residency,” were similar to the keywords from a previous study by Lee K. [ 9 ]. Such repetition of research topics, as noted in the study by Eva K. W., probably occurs because studies in medical education are mostly observational [ 26 ].

In a similar study, Lee K. also analyzed the historical trends in medical publications in the field of medical education [ 9 ]. Even though the general trend appears similar, it did not distinguish the semantic unit that grasps the variations in the emergence of new keywords. Therefore, the study is meaningful in that it distinguishes between the phases by analyzing the interactions between medical education keywords using the complex systems framework.

Research in medical education has mostly been dominated by a positivist approach [ 26 ], and the emergence of new keywords with time represents the extent of the efforts being made to reflect social needs using the educational paradigm [ 27 ]. When the contents of topics that increased in a certain period or had newly emerged were analyzed, the first phase was characterized by important keywords being continuously mentioned in medical education, and new keywords such as “competency” or “accreditation” began to appear in the second phase. This could be due to the fact that the authentication program was formally declared in 1975 in order to improve the quality of medical education [ 28 ]. Considering that the top-cited articles in medical education began to contain reviews and research on competency since then, the studies seem to have been accumulated from this time [ 10 ]. Keywords that emerged in the third phase, such as “problem-based learning” and “computer communication networks” imply an increased interest in new education methods [ 4 ]. Keywords such as “competency-based assessments” and “outcome-based education,” which emerged in the fourth phase, represent the extension of research topics during the time period in which medical education became a topic of conversation [ 28 ]. Finally, the fifth phase is characterized by the emergence of keywords such as “quality improvement,” “patient safety,” “cultural competency,” and “self-efficacy,” which confirms that more research reflecting the trend is being conducted and realistic demands of medical education are being made. This period is also marked by increased interest in medical education and emphasis on the importance of evaluation, and thus, qualitative analysis and program evaluation were among the most important research topics (Fligstein N: Theoretical perspectives in medical education: past experience and future possibilities, unpublished). It appears that interest in quality improvement increased as social requirements for doctors gradually influenced educational institutions [ 27 , 29 , 30 ]. Therefore, various educational programs should be developed and evaluated with a focus on the effectiveness of medical education [ 31 – 34 ].

After exploring the keywords used in medical education research using SNA from a macro perspective, the research team analyzed the research trends of each phase by historical flow. When a network is considered to be one ecosystem, it corresponds with the principle of complex systems, and from the perspective of interpreting the flow of the network, the complex systems logic is presented as a new alternative [ 35 ]. Recently, there have been a number of discussions on the need to explore the nature of knowledge networks using complex systems theory [ 17 ].

The study was able to identify the process of improving the academic field in medical education by analyzing keywords in separate phases. This effort can be considered as a method of knowledge formation clearly distinguished from those used in previous studies. An emergency refers to a disorderly situation that arises as a result of complex network structures and patterns, and the system of such an emergency can be referred to as a complex system [ 18 ]. Unlike the analysis of keyword emergence, the flow of the phases studied by SNA is quite similar to the changing trend in human societies or networks [ 36 ]. This implies that the research topics in medical education resemble the emergence phenomena, as used in the complex phenomena. In other words, when examining the timely flow of keywords related to medical education, it can be noted that the newly emerged keywords form a network by interacting with each other. This, like the coevolution phenomena presented by complex systems theory, shows a similar phenomenon in which keywords evolve as they interact. As such, it seems like the trend in topics by phases derived through medical education keyword analysis is a part of the change process suggested by complex systems theory. At the same time, a cycle in which new research topics emerge, interact, and evolve should be formed [ 30 , 37 ].

As the research team examined the research trends by phase, the features of each phase could be analyzed on the basis of complex systems theory: the waking phase (1963–1975), the birth phase (1976–1990), the growth phase (1991–1996), the maturity phase (1997–2005), and the expansion phase (2006–2015). And each name contained one the following meanings. The first period (1963–1975) is when keywords that served as central nodes for all the phases, such as “Education, Medical, Undergraduate” “Curriculum,” “Male,” “Female,” and “Adult,” appeared. This period forms the backbone of research in medical education, and shows the networks of basic levels. The second phase (1976–1990) is the period of the birth of medical education. The major keywords in the first phase focused on the subjects; however, the second phase is characterized by a focus on the keywords of properties, such as “Professional Competence,” “Attitudes of Health Personnel,” and “Peer Review.” In order for the subjects of medical education research to connect and be studied, it seems like the keywords representing the properties or characteristics should emerge and connect the subjects and foster the research. The third phase (1991–1996) was a period of growth for medical education, which is marked by the emergence of keywords in research methodology such as “Educational Measurement,” “Evaluation as Topic,” and “Questionnaire.” It appears that various methodologies have been tried in order to achieve qualitative improvement in subjects and properties. Ultimately, this seems to reflect the purpose of solving various problems in medical education, and it has been confirmed that suggested alternatives influenced and improved the academic field of medical education. The fourth phase (1997–2005) was a period of maturity, when keywords such as “Health Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice,” “Ethics and Medicine,” and “Physician-Patient Relations” emerged. These keywords reflect an increasing interest in selecting physician candidates with high morality, with an emphasis on ethical responsibilities in medical education. At the same time, the trend represents the extension of research topics from analysis of general education to quality management [ 27 ]. From this perspective, various educational keywords in performance and competency are being connected in this phase. This trend could imply that the influence of general citizens’ requirements of physicians could have had effects on the education sector as well. The fifth phase (2006–2015) was a period of expansion, and major keywords such as “Computer Assisted Instruction,” “Personal Staffing and Scheduling,” “User-Computer Interface,” “Professional Competency,” “Accreditation,” and “Program Evaluation” emerged. Unlike other keywords, medical education keywords have larger network connectivity from the fifth phase, forming true network structures. While the first three phases are marked by the emergence of new keywords, the fourth phase is characterized by network formation. The fifth phase is called the period of expansion because networks are becoming highly concentrated and forming new networks.

However, the study has some limitations. First of all, since it is a quantitative study using SNA, it focused on terms related to medical education in Medline without taking into consideration the articles published in medical education journals such as JAMA(Journal of the American Medical Association), BMJ(British Medical Journal), JAMA internal medicine, etc. Thus, compared to the studies conducted by Rotgans JI, Wolf E Hautz et al., and Tutarel O, some articles are not reflected in this study [ 4 , 11 , 12 ]. Secondly, as in many other studies, the research team could only search for articles published in English. Thirdly, co-word analysis, co-citation analysis, and bibliographic coupling are among the most commonly used content analysis methods in the field of bibliometrics [ 38 ]. Co-word analysis used in this study is a method of analyzing a pattern in which a pair of terms (phrases) used in text in a specific field are analyzed at the same time to reveal the knowledge structure of the field. In this paper, the corelation between two words is used by frequency of use of words in common by year using the approach of distribution hypothesis. However, in order to better comply with the context-based distribution hypothesis, a new method is needed to calculate semantic relations between two words in the future. Fourthly, since this is a quantitative study, there is a need for interdisciplinary research focusing on issues in sociology, economics, or ecology. At the same time, future studies could focus on the establishment of new theories from current effectiveness verification studies. Lastly, a great amount of time and manpower was required for data collection, classification, and interpretation, because of which the study could not implement additional keyword analysis within the last one year. This calls for the development of a new research methodology that can readily analyze recent trends through SNA.

As this shows, medical education research has focused not only on medical knowledge and practice (content) but also on research topics related to education theory as a social science (pedagogy) [ 31 , 39 ]. Hence, for the development of medical education, a relevant community of work in related social science fields is also needed, and this work, from all disciplines, needs to be pursued in an integrated, interdisciplinary fashion, with fields and studies reflecting each other’s requirements and assumptions. In this way, a new and unique kind of medical education will develop, which will be crucial for the future of the field.

The study reinterpreted the changes in medical education using the complex systems theory, a mechanism in which various factors influence each other and collide into an order while forming a causal relationship. This confirmed that a unique legitimacy of medical education is being formed. Research in medical education is continuously improving and keeping pace with numerous social changes. Therefore, as educational and sociological theories integrate in the field of medicine, the medical education sector is expected to achieve independent development in the future.

Additional files

Figure S1. SNA of each historical phase1(1963–1975) of medical education (TIF 1645 kb)

Figure S2. SNA of each historical phase2(1976–1990) of medical education (TIF 2932 kb)

Figure S3. SNA of each historical phase3(1991–1996) of medical education. (TIF 3844 kb)

Figure S4. SNA of each historical phase4(1997–2005) of medical education. (TIF 3575 kb)

Figure S5. SNA of each historical phase5(2006–2015) of medical education. (TIF 2378 kb)

This research was supported by the Office of Research Affairs of the Seoul National University Fundation (No. 860–20140058) and by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (No. NRF-2015R1C1A1A01055753).

Availability of data and materials

Abbreviations, authors’ contributions.

YJ substantial contributed to the conception or design of the work or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work. SN contributed to the design of the work and analze big data for the work. HK contributed to the approval of the version to be published. JL contributed to the interpretation of data and drafting the work or revising it critically for importatnt intellectual content. SL contributed to the agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Competing interests.

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Contributor Information

Young A Ji, Email: rk.ca.uns@ijay .

Se Jin Nam, Email: moc.liamg@esdroj .

Hong Gee Kim, Email: rk.ca.uns@mikgh .

Jaeil Lee, Email: rk.ca.uns@eelij .

Soo-Kyoung Lee, Phone: 82-53-580-3919, Email: moc.liamg@s5001oos .

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Virtual rehabilitation provides benefits for stroke recovery

New program enhances continuum of care, increases accessibility, quality of life.

A stroke often impacts a person's ability to move their lower body from the hips down to the feet.

This leads to diminished quality of life and mental health in addition to increased susceptibility to falls. But now, UBC Okanagan researchers are exploring new treatment methods to help bridge the service delivery gap, and recovery outcomes, for patients after a stroke.

"Shortened length of inpatient stays and continued challenges in transitioning back to the community -- including poor access to continued stroke rehabilitation services -- have resulted in substantial unmet recovery needs," says Sarah Park, master's student with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CCDPM) based at UBC Okanagan. "This is especially true for lower extremity recovery. People can struggle to regain balance, stability and gait coordination for daily life activities and even proper ambulation."

Dr. Brodie Sakakibara, CCDPM Investigator, recently led a national team of researchers, clinicians and people with lived experiences to evaluate the feasibility of a telerehabilitation program with aims to improve lower extremity recovery poststroke.

"More people are surviving a stroke and the need for accessible rehabilitation regardless of geographic location is increasingly important," says Dr. Sakakibara. "This program harnesses technology, the expertise of clinical therapists and the motivation of individuals to improve stroke recovery."

For the study, more than 32 participants, all who had experienced a stroke within the past 18 months, received eight telerehabilitation sessions via videoconference with a trained physical therapist. The research team focused their efforts on improving lower body mobility through standardized exercises combined with self-management supports.

"Overall, participants saw improvements in their mobility and strength, and made noticeable progress towards their rehabilitation goals," says co-investigator Dr. Ada Tang, an Associate Professor with the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at McMaster University. "They also gained self-management skills to empower themselves and maintain their achievements moving forward."

While many virtual rehabilitation programs developed out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, programs like this have demonstrated feasibility and increased accessibility to patients. Especially those living in rural and remote areas.

However, researchers have noted therapeutic benefits are not maintained if additional therapy is not sustained after the end of a formal program, explains Park, who was also lead author of the study. It is important to incorporate self-management skills in post-stroke rehabilitation interventions, which empower participants to continue exercising and maintain those benefits after the program ends.

"Overall, self-management programs aim to improve health outcomes by helping people adapt to their circumstances through newfound skills, which could prevent or offset some of the difficulties individuals face when discharged from care," Park explains. "Virtual rehabilitation programs, with a level of self-management, can ultimately enhance the continuum of care for patients transitioning back into the community and help improve their overall quality of life."

  • Stroke Prevention
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  • Heart Disease
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Materials provided by University of British Columbia Okanagan campus . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference :

  • Sarah Park, Ada Tang, Ruth Barclay, Mark Bayley, Janice J Eng, Marilyn Mackay-Lyons, Courtney Pollock, Sepideh Pooyania, Robert Teasell, Jennifer Yao, Brodie M Sakakibara. Investigating the Telerehabilitation With Aims to Improve Lower Extremity Recovery Poststroke Program: A Feasibility Study . Physical Therapy , 2024; 104 (3) DOI: 10.1093/ptj/pzad165

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Health Policy Analysis Webinar Series Brings Together Global Health Policy Scholars

When COVID-19 shut down much of society across the world in early March 2020, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) sought a way to start a dialogue on global health policy research, an area of public health that was critically important as governments around the world were seeking answers on how to stop the pandemic’s spread and impact while addressing a growing economic crisis.

Thus, the Health Policy Analysis Webinar Series was launched in April 2020 with the aim of holding research and policy discussions around global health policy issues in a way that encourages dialogue on different issues, is open to researchers at all career stages, and can connect those from all over the world with an interest in health policy analysis. Originally only held virtually due to the pandemic, the series continues to be held solely online, which allows it to remain accessible to those who otherwise might not be able to attend in person, broadening the scope of discussions and allowing for a more diverse array of voices.

The series is the brainchild of Jeremy Shiffman, PhD, MA , Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School and at SAIS. “We wanted to provide opportunities for researchers, especially doctoral students and junior faculty, to share work that connects to global health policy and get feedback from others working in that space,” says Shiffman.  

Currently in its fourth year, the series has spanned a wide range of global health topics, including COVID-19 policy, violence against women and children, nutrition policy, child health, and global tobacco policy. Speakers have presented and sought feedback on issues pertaining to the quality of global health governance (such as the role of the European Union), decolonizing global health, and efforts to address specific diseases (such as tuberculosis, polio, and neglected tropical diseases).

Miranda Bain , a doctoral student at the Bloomberg School who provides organizational support to the series, has found the series particularly helpful for early-career researchers such as herself to get valuable feedback that can inform their work. “As a student at the Bloomberg School, having a space to discuss policy that has a huge impact and talk about big picture issues has been hugely helpful. I see a lot of students coming to the webinars and it has been a very rich experience and place to learn,” says Bain.

So far, the series has not only connected researchers within the Johns Hopkins community—such as SAIS and the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics —but has also provided a network for institutions from all over the world. The emphasis in each webinar is on discussion—in the hour-long sessions, speakers only have about 15 minutes to present, and the remainder of the time is focused on feedback and dialogue. Speakers are encouraged to share work that is in progress, where they can gain insight and make adjustments before their research is published.

The fields of global health policy and health policy analysis are emerging, unlike epidemiology or tuberculosis, which are already established fields of research. The health policy analysis webinar series serves as a platform to bring researchers together to talk about scholarship in progress. The series spans the spectrum in terms of stage of career: doctoral students, junior faculty, and senior scholars all present their work.

Upcoming sessions in the webinar series will feature sustainable donor transition and health systems strengthening in Uttar Pradesh. Interested participants can register for each session or reach out to Miranda Bain to join the Health Policy Analysis listserv and receive more information on the webinar series.

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‘I got Davis!’ Match Day places medical students into residency programs

More than 100 fourth-year students learned Friday where they’ll head for training after graduation

A couple of minutes before 9 a.m. Friday, UC Davis fourth-year medical student Treysi Vargas received an email that would alter her family life — for better or worse.

The email, from the National Resident Matching Program , would tell Vargas if she would stay at UC Davis for her OB-GYN training the next four years, or move as far as Chicago. Her husband Maarouf Saad is planted at UC Davis Health for several years, training in orthopaedics. He massaged Vargas’ neck while waiting to read the email together, surrounded by several friends.

“I am feeling super anxious,” she said at a friend’s home near the medical school. “We’ll see what happens.”

Vargas clicked open the email, let out a scream and kissed her husband. “I got Davis!”

She was among the 115 UC Davis medical students — and tens of thousands from across the country — who simultaneously learned where they’ll attend residency training after graduation this spring. For decades, UC Davis students would open a personalized envelope at their school on the third Friday in March to learn where they matched. But since the coronavirus pandemic, the students have taken part from homes, surrounded by friends and family, while logged into a Zoom meeting with all their classmates.

Residency is an intensive training program that lasts anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the medical specialty. It’s a necessary step on the path to becoming a board-certified physician and Match Day is an unforgettable part of the long journey.

“This is amazing!” Vargas said. “My husband is a resident here at Davis so being able to stay together was extremely important to me.” They got married just six months ago. "And also,” she added, “I know I’ll get amazing training here at UC Davis.”

Seven people including some medical students, sit on and around a sofa celebrating Match Day results with each other

There’s a doctor (or five) in the house

Sirjan Mor was waiting in a living room decorated with shiny foil balloons and banners. Donuts and coffee cups covered the kitchen table, but Mor and her classmates didn’t need more caffeine. Pacing around the Sacramento home, they were already running on nerves.

“This is basically the day that we worked so hard for all through med school,” she said. “There’s a lot of hopes, dreams and expectations attached to this day.”

The aspiring neurosurgeon was joined by classmates Sylvia Cruz, Emmanuel Gaeta and Eric Robles on this Match Day. A handful of parents and friends were also there for the big moment.

“I’ll be refreshing my e-mail and hopefully I’ll get UC Davis. I want to stay here for anesthesiology,” Robles said.

The students’ fingers hovered over their smart phones in anticipation at 9:00 a.m. sharp. But two minutes ahead of schedule, the tension in the room was pierced by a gasp from Cruz.

“We’re staying!” she shouted, excitedly.

Friends and family cheered. Cruz hugged her fiancé, a University of Toledo medical student who had flown to Sacramento to celebrate together — and learned he also matched into UC Davis. Theirs is called a “couples match,” as the two students had linked their residency choices and sought to be placed together in the same geographic area.

Mor matched into neurosurgery, Cruz into general surgery, and Robles into anesthesiology — all at UC Davis. Gaeta matched into general surgery at the University of Illinois, Peoria.

Proud parents snapped photos of their newly matched students, who posed proudly while holding celebratory signs and balloons. The balloons read, “There’s a doctor in the house.”

View this post on Instagram A post shared by UC Davis School of Medicine (@ucdavismedschool)

Summer Meyer and Pooja Patel: Nerves turn into excitement

It was a morning that started with a lot of nervous energy that turned into jubilant excitement for Summer Meyer and Pooja Patel.

The two roommates anxiously sat at their computers counting down to 9 a.m., as they eagerly waited to hear where they would spend the next four years.

“I got it, I got the email,” Meyer called out, as she turned to her fiancé Matt. “Should I open it?”

Matt and Meyer’s mother gathered behind her as she opened the email on her computer.

“I got Davis!” Meyer exclaimed.

Meyer, who will train in dermatology, hugged Matt and then turned to embrace her mother.

“I am so grateful to match at UC Davis,” declared Meyer. “Dermatology is such a challenging field, and I am thrilled to have matched at a program that is near and dear to my heart.”

Patel matched with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in internal medicine.

“I have always wanted to be a physician and I am incredibly grateful to match with OHSU, who will do an excellent job of training me to achieve my dream.”

To cap off the morning, Meyer and Patel sipped mimosas and visited with their families.

“We are so happy to have our families here with us today,” they both shared. “We could not have done this without them.”

A man and a woman stand on grass at the medical school holding placard that states, "I matched UCSF Neurology"

The inner workings of the matchmaker

Medical students spend part of their final year in school deciding which specialty field and training program to pursue. They gain patient-care experience at various academic medical centers, hospitals and clinics and attend interviews with residency program directors. Then they make a ranked list of the locations they’d like to train at following graduation.

Some students submit several choices. Others pick dozens. Their lists are entered into the database of the National Resident Matching Program.

Training site leaders also submit a ranked list of students they’re interested in hiring as residents. A computer plays matchmaker for about 37,000 positions.

Students, and the training sites, have no idea who will match where, until 9 a.m. PDT, when the incoming emails start to buzz and beep across the country.

“It’s really an anxiety-provoking time,” said Sharad Jain, the UC Davis associate dean of students. “You’ve been working at this for four long years and suddenly it all comes together in that one moment.”

Young woman in blue dress smiles big looking into a phone surrounded by a ring light

Nearly a quarter of the matched students, 24%, will stay at UC Davis School of Medicine. Many of them will train in the medical center and some will be assigned to Federally Qualified Health Centers, where they’ll care for underserved patients.

A total of 81% will remain in California, and 54% will train in primary care, such as internal medicine and family medicine. These are specialty areas that are in short supply in places like Sacramento and throughout the Central Valley.

“We really value the importance of our workforce mission at UC Davis, so we’re thrilled when our students are going to stay here and take care of the people of our state… and address those workforce shortages,” Jain said.

Celebration on campus

After students learned of their matches at home, they went to their school campus in Sacramento to celebrate with classmates.

Among the crowd that gathered at Vanderhoef Lawn was Reza Taghavi, who matched at OHSU in interventional radiology. It’s a specialty whose doctors use advanced imaging technology to guide minimally invasive procedures for a broad range of conditions, such as vascular diseases, targeted cancer therapies and treatment of fractured vertebrae.

The specialty makes a lot of sense for Taghavi, because imaging and procedures rely on advanced technolgy, a field he used to work in during his previous career with Amazon in Silicon Valley.

He looks forward to moving to Portland, where he’s heard positive reviews about the coffee and beer scenes.

“I’ve never lived out of California so it’s nice to go out and expand my horizons,” he said.

Pamela Wu and Liam Connolly contributed to this story.

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Edwin Garcia

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