The PhD in Health Policy and Administration is designed to prepare students with the research skills that are necessary to study the complex systems involved in the organization, access, financing and delivery of health services and policies. Through courses, collaboration with faculty and the capstone dissertation, students will build knowledge in the following areas:
- the history of health services research and its role in the public policy making process and present theoretical frameworks, data sources, research methods, and substantive findings regarding the major issues in health services research—access, quality, and the cost, financing and effectiveness of health services.
- the philosophy of science and theories and models relevant to health services research including: the Health Belief Model, Popper’s falsificationism, Kuhn’s theory of scientific change, Anderson’s model of health care utilization, Donabedian’s structure, process, outcome model for quality, Prochaska and DiClementi’s stages of change, and Grossman’s health capital model.
- the organization, development, and financing of the US health service system and its components and the definition of health and its broader determinants.
- advanced statistical methods appropriate for the study of secondary data such as, multivariate regression analysis, analysis of limited dependent variables, and instrumental variables methods.
- study designs that include randomized and quasi-experimental designs. The process of selecting a study design should include a thorough consideration of the types of validity, the threats to validity and the other strengths and weaknesses of each design, and of their relative importance and applicability to the specific study.
- microeconomic concepts and techniques including cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis in the evaluation of health programs and policies.
- survey research design, implementation and analysis.
- program evaluation and policy analysis including secondary analysis of existing data sets.