What you'll learn

  • Conceptually define the meaning and purpose of outcomes research and evaluation

  • Understand the role of epidemiology, health economics, psychometrics and biostatistics in conducting outcomes research

  • Evaluate the usefulness of outcomes measures and the application of new technologies in medical institutions and industries, health care organizations and public health systems

  • Recognize the different types of measures used in outcomes research, including clinical, health status, quality of life, work/role performance, health care utilization, and patient satisfaction

  • Adopt new methods for modeling responses obtained from individuals completing questionnaires and surveys

  • Interpret and understand scale performance and measurement concepts such as reliability, validity, responsiveness, and sensitivity

Course description

Health care systems around the world face growing pressures to provide more effective programs, treatments, and interventions. Health outcomes research is the scientific inquiry that provides the evidence required for optimally developing new therapies, implementing quality of care improvement protocols, and enhancing public health system capacity and capability.

In this online program, Harvard’s expert faculty in health outcomes research will guide you through the language and concepts needed to synthesize outcomes studies into useful knowledge for translation and implementation into practice. During this program you will learn the fundamentals for measuring, designing, and analyzing health outcomes research studies and data.

Why Health Outcomes Research is Important

Outcomes research is highly valued in public health due to the breadth of issues it addresses. A diverse and growing number of organizations – employers, health care delivery organizations, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and governments – rely on health outcomes research for generating actionable data that will help them make better decisions about the value of different therapeutic and preventative options. Well-designed and executed health outcomes research studies can provide evidence for a broad range of medical and public health practices, such as:

  • Incorporating patient-centered outcomes measures such as patient preference and quality of life into the drug and device development process
  • Evaluating the impact of chronic disease therapies on physical, emotional and social functioning
  • Determining the cost-effectiveness of comparative medical treatments for chronic diseases
  • Assessing the population health risks and benefits associated with response and mitigation strategies for infectious diseases such as influenza and COVID-19

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