Outcomes Research

In the Outcomes Research Specialty Track, you focus on how health care practices and interventions affect the end results that people care about. In particular, for individuals with chronic conditions—where cure is not always possible—end results include quality of life as well as mortality. By linking the care people get to the outcomes they experience, outcomes research has become the key to developing better ways to monitor and improve the quality of care.

Our students learn to develop evidence about the benefits, risks, and results of treatments, which can help patients, physicians, public health practitioners, and policymakers make more informed decisions.

Students in this track complete a master’s thesis as their culminating experience. Recent projects include evaluating the role of persistent depression in adherence to secondary prevention behaviors after acute coronary syndromes; analyzing differences in preventive services offered by gynecologists and generalists; assessing food allergy as a risk factor for asthma morbidity in adults; determining factors associated with adherence to influenza vaccine among inner city adults with persistent asthma; and exploring the association between minor and major surgical complications after carotid endarterectomy.

Track-specific Competencies

To make sure our students develop the skills necessary to be successful and productive in the field of public health, and especially in the area of Outcomes Research, we have developed a list of skills and content areas for the students in this specialty track:

  • Identify, analyze, and interpret major clinical and public health problems and relevant clinical epidemiology, outcomes, and health services research questions.
  • Identify, interpret, and critique the state of knowledge regarding clinical epidemiology, outcomes, health services research questions, and public health policy.
  • Explain the relative advantages and disadvantages of observational and experimental methods and study design used in clinical epidemiology, outcomes, and health services research.
  • Specify the measurement of structure, process, and outcome in health and health care research and their implications for improving outcomes.
  • Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages between efficacy and effectiveness research.