Conducting Health Research: Principles, Process, and Methods presents an integrated and practical introduction to the principles and strategies for planning, implementing, reporting, and assessing health sciences research. Comprehensive in its breadth and depth, with an accessible writing style, this text prepares students in public health and related fields to be adept researchers and consumers of health research. Through real-world examples and step-by-step guidance, Frederick J. Kviz provides students with the skills they need to: identify and evaluate research strengths and limitations as practitioners; to actually perform the various core aspects of research; and to choose among alternative methods when making decisions about health practice, policy, and future research needs.

Research Designs

Research Designs

A man’s hands are held open with each thumb touching the other hand’s forefinger, making a rectangular space. The hands frame the sun on the horizon. A sea is seen all around as well.

Learning Objectives

After studying Chapter 6, the reader should be able to:

  • Distinguish between observational and causal research designs
  • Classify causal research designs as nonexperimental, experimental, or quasi-experimental
  • Draw and interpret a research design diagram
  • Assess strengths and weaknesses of a research design
  • Apply design variations to enhance validity and efficiency


Research is conducted for many purposes, such as

  • describing one or more populations at a particular point in time,
  • exploring relationships among variables,
  • identifying factors that account for differences across populations,
  • monitoring stability/change within and across populations over time, and
  • assessing causal relationships to evaluate the impact of interventions.

Moreover, factors such as the types of research participants, timing, conditions, key variables, and resources vary widely across studies. Typically, it is not adequate simply to plan a study by choosing from a menu ...

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