Public Health Research

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Public Health Research

The field of public health is advancing with various opportunities and demands for skilled professionals to protect and promote community health. You will be required to conduct public health research before you graduate to assess your performance which may be challenging.

Do not worry if you don’t know where to start your research. In this article, you will learn what public health research is, its importance, various types of research, and good topics that you may consider.

What is public health research?

Public health research helps researchers understand determining factors of population health and suggest policies and interventions based on evidence and scientific knowledge. These public health interventions promote health equality and improve community well-being by controlling and preventing diseases. Researchers use the research finding to create innovations regarding social services, health organizations, and medical services.

Public health researchers examine disability, well-being, loss of autonomy, and population health. They also study determinants of health such as behavioral, environmental, biological, and social. The findings help the researcher assess and develop interventions to prevent diseases, enhance population health, and indemnify for loss of autonomy.

Public health research fields comprise mental health, environment and lifestyle, foresight, global health, health systems and services, maternal and child health, etc. 

How important is public health research?

Public health research is important as it provides trends and risk factors of diseases, health interventions, patterns of care, functional mobility, and healthcare cost and use. Clinical trials provide information about medical intervention. Real-world clinical experience helps to compare and improve medical devices, vaccines, diagnostics, and the use of drugs.

Research improves public health and healthcare, discoveries, and the evolution of new therapies. It also informs and influences policy decision-making at the national level. Public health researchers conduct surveys and analyze data to understand population health. They investigate whether risk, trends, behavior, weather, biology, or environment play a vital role in population health.

The importance of public health research includes;

  • It leads to the evolution of therapies and new drugs to improve public health
  • Provide information about trends and risk factors for diseases
  • Helps in policy decision-making at the local and national level
  • It helps people understand disparities in healthcare
  • It promotes the use of vaccines, drugs, diagnostic, and medical devices

Public health research involving infectious diseases

Research in infectious diseases involves both clinical and investigation research. It involves the basic mechanism of protective immunity, microbial pathogenesis, and host injury. The investigation targets fungal, bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens which cause illnesses.

Research in infectious diseases helps investigate the epidemiology, and outbreaks, diagnose infection, monitor resistance, analyze transmission patterns, coming up with interventions such as vaccines. The epidemiologic investigation involves assessing the risk and outcomes of infections in elderly patients. Clinical studies involve factors that affect antiretroviral regimens and new therapies for HIV infections.

Oral and maxillofacial surgery public health research

Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) involves treating and diagnosing patients with diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, face, neck, etc. The study focuses on innovative surgical techniques, new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in oral cavity disease management, virtual surgical planning, and new procedure of tissue regeneration.

Dental health research helps to determine the causes of oral disease, disease surveillance, and oral health interactions. Dental public health research areas may include;

  • Strategies for controlling oral cancer
  • Managing dental decay
  • Decreasing recurrence of dental decay
  • Medication-related osteonecrosis of the jay
  • Dental treatment and procedure

What are the types of research in public health?

Public health research involves the analysis of community sample data on different scales, which depends on the research purpose. The following are types of research that public health scientists use;

  1. Case-control studies

The case-control study involves two groups, one with an individual representing the event in the study, while the control study not presenting the event in the study. The researcher collected data on the two groups to acquire protective or risk factors for the studied event.

For example, asthmatic patients and non-asthmatic control can be used to investigate the environmental factors related to bronchial hyperresponsiveness, asthma, and atopy. The study aims to develop new treatments and preventive measures for patients.

  1. Cohort studies

Cohort studies entail observing people with standard features over time to note the incidence of certain health, such as a disease or physical dysfunction. The study helps identify protective or risk factors for the studied health event. A cohort study is built on consent with a pre-defined arrangement of data collection and follow-up procedure which will help you know the inception of the studied health event.

For example, researchers may observe people from the same family sharing the same environment and genetic predisposition to know the connection between environment, health, and modern lifestyle. The study will involve three generations; the mother and father as the first generation, their children as the second generation, and their grandchildren as the third generation.

  1. Cross-cutting studies

Cross-cutting studies describe the exposure and features of a population at the time of engaging them in the study. The study may be done again over time and then compared to differentiate the data obtained and examine their change over time.

For example, perinatal surveys are done to determine measures for medical practices during childbirth, pregnancy, and neonatal and maternal health, with related risk factors. These research findings help make public health decisions and assess health measures in the perinatal field.

  1. Morbidity registries

Mobility registries are comprehensive records containing one or more health events happening in a geographically specified population. These records are compiled for public health and epidemiological research by skilled researchers.

Two councils run mobility registries; the Strategic Registry Committee (SRC), which makes decisions regarding registry policy, and the Registry Evaluation Committee (REC) in charge of scientific evaluation.

  1. Medical-administrative databases

Medical-administrative databases are generated for peculiar interest to public health research scientists. For example, the national health insurance database containing all reimbursed strategies such as medical, admission, hospital, etc., help scientist assess the patient’s care pathway.

What are the two broad types of research in public health?

The following are the two types of research in public health;

  1. Qualitative

Qualitative data explain qualities or features which could be collected using interviews, questionnaires, or observations and appear in narrative form. It may not be easy to weigh and analyze. The data may be illustrative words, which can be assessed for meaning or pattern through coding. Coding helps the researcher to perform quantitative analysis.

  1. Quantitative

Quantitative data is used when a scientist wants to evaluate a problem or address a ‘how many’ or ‘what’ type of research question. Data can be differentiated with an arithmetic scale or counted, such as statistics and measurements. The results are presented in tables or graphs. Descriptive research, survey research, and correlational research are all types of qualitative methods.  

Public health research paper topics

Public health is a vital medical specialty that deals with epidemiology, hygiene, and disease prevention. Research in public health focuses on disease control, individual lifestyle, and political systems’ impact on health to boost population health. Choosing a good topic is the first step while writing a public health research paper.

We have compiled a list of good research topics in public health below that you can consider while doing research;

  1. Discuss the effects of environmental factors on population health
  2. How do political systems affect population health?
  3. What are the effects of poverty on population health?
  4. Is influenza a global threat in the future?
  5. What is the influence of technology on health care?
  6. How can doctors promote a healthy lifestyle?
  7. How does climate change affect human health?
  8. What are the effects of substance abuse on human health?
  9. Compare and contrast modern medicine vs. traditional medicine.
  10. Prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
  11. What is the essential equipment in a public health facility?
  12. What are the effects of blood transfusion?
  13. Compare the rates of heart attack between men and women
  14. Analyse self-isolation: advantages and disadvantages
  15. Evaluate and analyze a common public health issue in your community
  16. How does exercise promote balance and strength in the elderly?
  17. Impact of nursing shortage on public health
  18. What are the main causes of obesity among children?
  19. What are the causes of rising cases of suicide in society?
  20. Strategies to boost the health of patients with chronic illness

Bottom line

Public health research provides interventions that promote health equality and improve community well-being by controlling and preventing diseases. It covers everything from child care, and a healthy lifestyle, to rehabilitation after trauma. Writing a research paper can be challenging as it requires strong research and analytic skills.

Use the topics provided in this blog to write a compelling public health research paper that will improve your performance.