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Research Topics & Ideas: Healthcare

100+ Healthcare Research Topic Ideas To Fast-Track Your Project

Healthcare-related research topics and ideas

Finding and choosing a strong research topic is the critical first step when it comes to crafting a high-quality dissertation, thesis or research project. If you’ve landed on this post, chances are you’re looking for a healthcare-related research topic , but aren’t sure where to start. Here, we’ll explore a variety of healthcare-related research ideas and topic thought-starters across a range of healthcare fields, including allopathic and alternative medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, optometry, pharmacology and public health.

NB – This is just the start…

The topic ideation and evaluation process has multiple steps . In this post, we’ll kickstart the process by sharing some research topic ideas within the healthcare domain. This is the starting point, but to develop a well-defined research topic, you’ll need to identify a clear and convincing research gap , along with a well-justified plan of action to fill that gap.

If you’re new to the oftentimes perplexing world of research, or if this is your first time undertaking a formal academic research project, be sure to check out our free dissertation mini-course. In it, we cover the process of writing a dissertation or thesis from start to end. Be sure to also sign up for our free webinar that explores how to find a high-quality research topic.

Overview: Healthcare Research Topics

  • Allopathic medicine
  • Alternative /complementary medicine
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Physical therapy/ rehab
  • Optometry and ophthalmology
  • Pharmacy and pharmacology
  • Public health
  • Examples of healthcare-related dissertations

Allopathic (Conventional) Medicine

  • The effectiveness of telemedicine in remote elderly patient care
  • The impact of stress on the immune system of cancer patients
  • The effects of a plant-based diet on chronic diseases such as diabetes
  • The use of AI in early cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • The role of the gut microbiome in mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety
  • The efficacy of mindfulness meditation in reducing chronic pain: A systematic review
  • The benefits and drawbacks of electronic health records in a developing country
  • The effects of environmental pollution on breast milk quality
  • The use of personalized medicine in treating genetic disorders
  • The impact of social determinants of health on chronic diseases in Asia
  • The role of high-intensity interval training in improving cardiovascular health
  • The efficacy of using probiotics for gut health in pregnant women
  • The impact of poor sleep on the treatment of chronic illnesses
  • The role of inflammation in the development of chronic diseases such as lupus
  • The effectiveness of physiotherapy in pain control post-surgery

Research topic idea mega list

Topics & Ideas: Alternative Medicine

  • The benefits of herbal medicine in treating young asthma patients
  • The use of acupuncture in treating infertility in women over 40 years of age
  • The effectiveness of homoeopathy in treating mental health disorders: A systematic review
  • The role of aromatherapy in reducing stress and anxiety post-surgery
  • The impact of mindfulness meditation on reducing high blood pressure
  • The use of chiropractic therapy in treating back pain of pregnant women
  • The efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine such as Shun-Qi-Tong-Xie (SQTX) in treating digestive disorders in China
  • The impact of yoga on physical and mental health in adolescents
  • The benefits of hydrotherapy in treating musculoskeletal disorders such as tendinitis
  • The role of Reiki in promoting healing and relaxation post birth
  • The effectiveness of naturopathy in treating skin conditions such as eczema
  • The use of deep tissue massage therapy in reducing chronic pain in amputees
  • The impact of tai chi on the treatment of anxiety and depression
  • The benefits of reflexology in treating stress, anxiety and chronic fatigue
  • The role of acupuncture in the prophylactic management of headaches and migraines

Research topic evaluator

Topics & Ideas: Dentistry

  • The impact of sugar consumption on the oral health of infants
  • The use of digital dentistry in improving patient care: A systematic review
  • The efficacy of orthodontic treatments in correcting bite problems in adults
  • The role of dental hygiene in preventing gum disease in patients with dental bridges
  • The impact of smoking on oral health and tobacco cessation support from UK dentists
  • The benefits of dental implants in restoring missing teeth in adolescents
  • The use of lasers in dental procedures such as root canals
  • The efficacy of root canal treatment using high-frequency electric pulses in saving infected teeth
  • The role of fluoride in promoting remineralization and slowing down demineralization
  • The impact of stress-induced reflux on oral health
  • The benefits of dental crowns in restoring damaged teeth in elderly patients
  • The use of sedation dentistry in managing dental anxiety in children
  • The efficacy of teeth whitening treatments in improving dental aesthetics in patients with braces
  • The role of orthodontic appliances in improving well-being
  • The impact of periodontal disease on overall health and chronic illnesses

Free Webinar: How To Find A Dissertation Research Topic

Tops & Ideas: Veterinary Medicine

  • The impact of nutrition on broiler chicken production
  • The role of vaccines in disease prevention in horses
  • The importance of parasite control in animal health in piggeries
  • The impact of animal behaviour on welfare in the dairy industry
  • The effects of environmental pollution on the health of cattle
  • The role of veterinary technology such as MRI in animal care
  • The importance of pain management in post-surgery health outcomes
  • The impact of genetics on animal health and disease in layer chickens
  • The effectiveness of alternative therapies in veterinary medicine: A systematic review
  • The role of veterinary medicine in public health: A case study of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The impact of climate change on animal health and infectious diseases in animals
  • The importance of animal welfare in veterinary medicine and sustainable agriculture
  • The effects of the human-animal bond on canine health
  • The role of veterinary medicine in conservation efforts: A case study of Rhinoceros poaching in Africa
  • The impact of veterinary research of new vaccines on animal health

Topics & Ideas: Physical Therapy/Rehab

  • The efficacy of aquatic therapy in improving joint mobility and strength in polio patients
  • The impact of telerehabilitation on patient outcomes in Germany
  • The effect of kinesiotaping on reducing knee pain and improving function in individuals with chronic pain
  • A comparison of manual therapy and yoga exercise therapy in the management of low back pain
  • The use of wearable technology in physical rehabilitation and the impact on patient adherence to a rehabilitation plan
  • The impact of mindfulness-based interventions in physical therapy in adolescents
  • The effects of resistance training on individuals with Parkinson’s disease
  • The role of hydrotherapy in the management of fibromyalgia
  • The impact of cognitive-behavioural therapy in physical rehabilitation for individuals with chronic pain
  • The use of virtual reality in physical rehabilitation of sports injuries
  • The effects of electrical stimulation on muscle function and strength in athletes
  • The role of physical therapy in the management of stroke recovery: A systematic review
  • The impact of pilates on mental health in individuals with depression
  • The use of thermal modalities in physical therapy and its effectiveness in reducing pain and inflammation
  • The effect of strength training on balance and gait in elderly patients

Topics & Ideas: Optometry & Opthalmology

  • The impact of screen time on the vision and ocular health of children under the age of 5
  • The effects of blue light exposure from digital devices on ocular health
  • The role of dietary interventions, such as the intake of whole grains, in the management of age-related macular degeneration
  • The use of telemedicine in optometry and ophthalmology in the UK
  • The impact of myopia control interventions on African American children’s vision
  • The use of contact lenses in the management of dry eye syndrome: different treatment options
  • The effects of visual rehabilitation in individuals with traumatic brain injury
  • The role of low vision rehabilitation in individuals with age-related vision loss: challenges and solutions
  • The impact of environmental air pollution on ocular health
  • The effectiveness of orthokeratology in myopia control compared to contact lenses
  • The role of dietary supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, in ocular health
  • The effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure from tanning beds on ocular health
  • The impact of computer vision syndrome on long-term visual function
  • The use of novel diagnostic tools in optometry and ophthalmology in developing countries
  • The effects of virtual reality on visual perception and ocular health: an examination of dry eye syndrome and neurologic symptoms

Topics & Ideas: Pharmacy & Pharmacology

  • The impact of medication adherence on patient outcomes in cystic fibrosis
  • The use of personalized medicine in the management of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • The effects of pharmacogenomics on drug response and toxicity in cancer patients
  • The role of pharmacists in the management of chronic pain in primary care
  • The impact of drug-drug interactions on patient mental health outcomes
  • The use of telepharmacy in healthcare: Present status and future potential
  • The effects of herbal and dietary supplements on drug efficacy and toxicity
  • The role of pharmacists in the management of type 1 diabetes
  • The impact of medication errors on patient outcomes and satisfaction
  • The use of technology in medication management in the USA
  • The effects of smoking on drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics: A case study of clozapine
  • Leveraging the role of pharmacists in preventing and managing opioid use disorder
  • The impact of the opioid epidemic on public health in a developing country
  • The use of biosimilars in the management of the skin condition psoriasis
  • The effects of the Affordable Care Act on medication utilization and patient outcomes in African Americans

Topics & Ideas: Public Health

  • The impact of the built environment and urbanisation on physical activity and obesity
  • The effects of food insecurity on health outcomes in Zimbabwe
  • The role of community-based participatory research in addressing health disparities
  • The impact of social determinants of health, such as racism, on population health
  • The effects of heat waves on public health
  • The role of telehealth in addressing healthcare access and equity in South America
  • The impact of gun violence on public health in South Africa
  • The effects of chlorofluorocarbons air pollution on respiratory health
  • The role of public health interventions in reducing health disparities in the USA
  • The impact of the United States Affordable Care Act on access to healthcare and health outcomes
  • The effects of water insecurity on health outcomes in the Middle East
  • The role of community health workers in addressing healthcare access and equity in low-income countries
  • The impact of mass incarceration on public health and behavioural health of a community
  • The effects of floods on public health and healthcare systems
  • The role of social media in public health communication and behaviour change in adolescents

Examples: Healthcare Dissertation & Theses

While the ideas we’ve presented above are a decent starting point for finding a healthcare-related research topic, they are fairly generic and non-specific. So, it helps to look at actual dissertations and theses to see how this all comes together.

Below, we’ve included a selection of research projects from various healthcare-related degree programs to help refine your thinking. These are actual dissertations and theses, written as part of Master’s and PhD-level programs, so they can provide some useful insight as to what a research topic looks like in practice.

  • Improving Follow-Up Care for Homeless Populations in North County San Diego (Sanchez, 2021)
  • On the Incentives of Medicare’s Hospital Reimbursement and an Examination of Exchangeability (Elzinga, 2016)
  • Managing the healthcare crisis: the career narratives of nurses (Krueger, 2021)
  • Methods for preventing central line-associated bloodstream infection in pediatric haematology-oncology patients: A systematic literature review (Balkan, 2020)
  • Farms in Healthcare: Enhancing Knowledge, Sharing, and Collaboration (Garramone, 2019)
  • When machine learning meets healthcare: towards knowledge incorporation in multimodal healthcare analytics (Yuan, 2020)
  • Integrated behavioural healthcare: The future of rural mental health (Fox, 2019)
  • Healthcare service use patterns among autistic adults: A systematic review with narrative synthesis (Gilmore, 2021)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Combatting Burnout and Compassionate Fatigue among Mental Health Caregivers (Lundquist, 2022)
  • Transgender and gender-diverse people’s perceptions of gender-inclusive healthcare access and associated hope for the future (Wille, 2021)
  • Efficient Neural Network Synthesis and Its Application in Smart Healthcare (Hassantabar, 2022)
  • The Experience of Female Veterans and Health-Seeking Behaviors (Switzer, 2022)
  • Machine learning applications towards risk prediction and cost forecasting in healthcare (Singh, 2022)
  • Does Variation in the Nursing Home Inspection Process Explain Disparity in Regulatory Outcomes? (Fox, 2020)

Looking at these titles, you can probably pick up that the research topics here are quite specific and narrowly-focused , compared to the generic ones presented earlier. This is an important thing to keep in mind as you develop your own research topic. That is to say, to create a top-notch research topic, you must be precise and target a specific context with specific variables of interest . In other words, you need to identify a clear, well-justified research gap.

Need more help?

If you’re still feeling a bit unsure about how to find a research topic for your healthcare dissertation or thesis, check out Topic Kickstarter service below.

Research Topic Kickstarter - Need Help Finding A Research Topic?

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Topic Kickstarter: Research topics in education


Mabel Allison

I need topics that will match the Msc program am running in healthcare research please

Theophilus Ugochuku

Hello Mabel,

I can help you with a good topic, kindly provide your email let’s have a good discussion on this.

sneha ramu

Can you provide some research topics and ideas on Immunology?


Thank you to create new knowledge on research problem verse research topic

Help on problem statement on teen pregnancy

Derek Jansen

This post might be useful:

vera akinyi akinyi vera

can you provide me with a research topic on healthcare related topics to a qqi level 5 student

Didjatou tao

Please can someone help me with research topics in public health ?

Gurtej singh Dhillon

Hello I have requirement of Health related latest research issue/topics for my social media speeches. If possible pls share health issues , diagnosis, treatment.

Chikalamba Muzyamba

I would like a topic thought around first-line support for Gender-Based Violence for survivors or one related to prevention of Gender-Based Violence

Evans Amihere

Please can I be helped with a master’s research topic in either chemical pathology or hematology or immunology? thanks


Can u please provide me with a research topic on occupational health and safety at the health sector

Biyama Chama Reuben

Good day kindly help provide me with Ph.D. Public health topics on Reproductive and Maternal Health, interventional studies on Health Education

dominic muema

may you assist me with a good easy healthcare administration study topic


May you assist me in finding a research topic on nutrition,physical activity and obesity. On the impact on children

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Research Article

Recent quantitative research on determinants of health in high income countries: A scoping review

Roles Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Software, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

* E-mail: [email protected]

Affiliation Centre for Health Economics Research and Modelling Infectious Diseases, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

ORCID logo

Roles Conceptualization, Data curation, Funding acquisition, Project administration, Resources, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing – review & editing

  • Vladimira Varbanova, 
  • Philippe Beutels


  • Published: September 17, 2020
  • Peer Review
  • Reader Comments

Fig 1

Identifying determinants of health and understanding their role in health production constitutes an important research theme. We aimed to document the state of recent multi-country research on this theme in the literature.

We followed the PRISMA-ScR guidelines to systematically identify, triage and review literature (January 2013—July 2019). We searched for studies that performed cross-national statistical analyses aiming to evaluate the impact of one or more aggregate level determinants on one or more general population health outcomes in high-income countries. To assess in which combinations and to what extent individual (or thematically linked) determinants had been studied together, we performed multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis.

Sixty studies were selected, out of an original yield of 3686. Life-expectancy and overall mortality were the most widely used population health indicators, while determinants came from the areas of healthcare, culture, politics, socio-economics, environment, labor, fertility, demographics, life-style, and psychology. The family of regression models was the predominant statistical approach. Results from our multidimensional scaling showed that a relatively tight core of determinants have received much attention, as main covariates of interest or controls, whereas the majority of other determinants were studied in very limited contexts. We consider findings from these studies regarding the importance of any given health determinant inconclusive at present. Across a multitude of model specifications, different country samples, and varying time periods, effects fluctuated between statistically significant and not significant, and between beneficial and detrimental to health.


We conclude that efforts to understand the underlying mechanisms of population health are far from settled, and the present state of research on the topic leaves much to be desired. It is essential that future research considers multiple factors simultaneously and takes advantage of more sophisticated methodology with regards to quantifying health as well as analyzing determinants’ influence.

Citation: Varbanova V, Beutels P (2020) Recent quantitative research on determinants of health in high income countries: A scoping review. PLoS ONE 15(9): e0239031.

Editor: Amir Radfar, University of Central Florida, UNITED STATES

Received: November 14, 2019; Accepted: August 28, 2020; Published: September 17, 2020

Copyright: © 2020 Varbanova, Beutels. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: This study (and VV) is funded by the Research Foundation Flanders ( ), FWO project number G0D5917N, award obtained by PB. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Identifying the key drivers of population health is a core subject in public health and health economics research. Between-country comparative research on the topic is challenging. In order to be relevant for policy, it requires disentangling different interrelated drivers of “good health”, each having different degrees of importance in different contexts.

“Good health”–physical and psychological, subjective and objective–can be defined and measured using a variety of approaches, depending on which aspect of health is the focus. A major distinction can be made between health measurements at the individual level or some aggregate level, such as a neighborhood, a region or a country. In view of this, a great diversity of specific research topics exists on the drivers of what constitutes individual or aggregate “good health”, including those focusing on health inequalities, the gender gap in longevity, and regional mortality and longevity differences.

The current scoping review focuses on determinants of population health. Stated as such, this topic is quite broad. Indeed, we are interested in the very general question of what methods have been used to make the most of increasingly available region or country-specific databases to understand the drivers of population health through inter-country comparisons. Existing reviews indicate that researchers thus far tend to adopt a narrower focus. Usually, attention is given to only one health outcome at a time, with further geographical and/or population [ 1 , 2 ] restrictions. In some cases, the impact of one or more interventions is at the core of the review [ 3 – 7 ], while in others it is the relationship between health and just one particular predictor, e.g., income inequality, access to healthcare, government mechanisms [ 8 – 13 ]. Some relatively recent reviews on the subject of social determinants of health [ 4 – 6 , 14 – 17 ] have considered a number of indicators potentially influencing health as opposed to a single one. One review defines “social determinants” as “the social, economic, and political conditions that influence the health of individuals and populations” [ 17 ] while another refers even more broadly to “the factors apart from medical care” [ 15 ].

In the present work, we aimed to be more inclusive, setting no limitations on the nature of possible health correlates, as well as making use of a multitude of commonly accepted measures of general population health. The goal of this scoping review was to document the state of the art in the recent published literature on determinants of population health, with a particular focus on the types of determinants selected and the methodology used. In doing so, we also report the main characteristics of the results these studies found. The materials collected in this review are intended to inform our (and potentially other researchers’) future analyses on this topic. Since the production of health is subject to the law of diminishing marginal returns, we focused our review on those studies that included countries where a high standard of wealth has been achieved for some time, i.e., high-income countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or Europe. Adding similar reviews for other country income groups is of limited interest to the research we plan to do in this area.

In view of its focus on data and methods, rather than results, a formal protocol was not registered prior to undertaking this review, but the procedure followed the guidelines of the PRISMA statement for scoping reviews [ 18 ].

We focused on multi-country studies investigating the potential associations between any aggregate level (region/city/country) determinant and general measures of population health (e.g., life expectancy, mortality rate).

Within the query itself, we listed well-established population health indicators as well as the six world regions, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). We searched only in the publications’ titles in order to keep the number of hits manageable, and the ratio of broadly relevant abstracts over all abstracts in the order of magnitude of 10% (based on a series of time-focused trial runs). The search strategy was developed iteratively between the two authors and is presented in S1 Appendix . The search was performed by VV in PubMed and Web of Science on the 16 th of July, 2019, without any language restrictions, and with a start date set to the 1 st of January, 2013, as we were interested in the latest developments in this area of research.

Eligibility criteria

Records obtained via the search methods described above were screened independently by the two authors. Consistency between inclusion/exclusion decisions was approximately 90% and the 43 instances where uncertainty existed were judged through discussion. Articles were included subject to meeting the following requirements: (a) the paper was a full published report of an original empirical study investigating the impact of at least one aggregate level (city/region/country) factor on at least one health indicator (or self-reported health) of the general population (the only admissible “sub-populations” were those based on gender and/or age); (b) the study employed statistical techniques (calculating correlations, at the very least) and was not purely descriptive or theoretical in nature; (c) the analysis involved at least two countries or at least two regions or cities (or another aggregate level) in at least two different countries; (d) the health outcome was not differentiated according to some socio-economic factor and thus studied in terms of inequality (with the exception of gender and age differentiations); (e) mortality, in case it was one of the health indicators under investigation, was strictly “total” or “all-cause” (no cause-specific or determinant-attributable mortality).

Data extraction

The following pieces of information were extracted in an Excel table from the full text of each eligible study (primarily by VV, consulting with PB in case of doubt): health outcome(s), determinants, statistical methodology, level of analysis, results, type of data, data sources, time period, countries. The evidence is synthesized according to these extracted data (often directly reflected in the section headings), using a narrative form accompanied by a “summary-of-findings” table and a graph.

Search and selection

The initial yield contained 4583 records, reduced to 3686 after removal of duplicates ( Fig 1 ). Based on title and abstract screening, 3271 records were excluded because they focused on specific medical condition(s) or specific populations (based on morbidity or some other factor), dealt with intervention effectiveness, with theoretical or non-health related issues, or with animals or plants. Of the remaining 415 papers, roughly half were disqualified upon full-text consideration, mostly due to using an outcome not of interest to us (e.g., health inequality), measuring and analyzing determinants and outcomes exclusively at the individual level, performing analyses one country at a time, employing indices that are a mixture of both health indicators and health determinants, or not utilizing potential health determinants at all. After this second stage of the screening process, 202 papers were deemed eligible for inclusion. This group was further dichotomized according to level of economic development of the countries or regions under study, using membership of the OECD or Europe as a reference “cut-off” point. Sixty papers were judged to include high-income countries, and the remaining 142 included either low- or middle-income countries or a mix of both these levels of development. The rest of this report outlines findings in relation to high-income countries only, reflecting our own primary research interests. Nonetheless, we chose to report our search yield for the other income groups for two reasons. First, to gauge the relative interest in applied published research for these different income levels; and second, to enable other researchers with a focus on determinants of health in other countries to use the extraction we made here.


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Health outcomes

The most frequent population health indicator, life expectancy (LE), was present in 24 of the 60 studies. Apart from “life expectancy at birth” (representing the average life-span a newborn is expected to have if current mortality rates remain constant), also called “period LE” by some [ 19 , 20 ], we encountered as well LE at 40 years of age [ 21 ], at 60 [ 22 ], and at 65 [ 21 , 23 , 24 ]. In two papers, the age-specificity of life expectancy (be it at birth or another age) was not stated [ 25 , 26 ].

Some studies considered male and female LE separately [ 21 , 24 , 25 , 27 – 33 ]. This consideration was also often observed with the second most commonly used health index [ 28 – 30 , 34 – 38 ]–termed “total”, or “overall”, or “all-cause”, mortality rate (MR)–included in 22 of the 60 studies. In addition to gender, this index was also sometimes broken down according to age group [ 30 , 39 , 40 ], as well as gender-age group [ 38 ].

While the majority of studies under review here focused on a single health indicator, 23 out of the 60 studies made use of multiple outcomes, although these outcomes were always considered one at a time, and sometimes not all of them fell within the scope of our review. An easily discernable group of indices that typically went together [ 25 , 37 , 41 ] was that of neonatal (deaths occurring within 28 days postpartum), perinatal (fetal or early neonatal / first-7-days deaths), and post-neonatal (deaths between the 29 th day and completion of one year of life) mortality. More often than not, these indices were also accompanied by “stand-alone” indicators, such as infant mortality (deaths within the first year of life; our third most common index found in 16 of the 60 studies), maternal mortality (deaths during pregnancy or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy), and child mortality rates. Child mortality has conventionally been defined as mortality within the first 5 years of life, thus often also called “under-5 mortality”. Nonetheless, Pritchard & Wallace used the term “child mortality” to denote deaths of children younger than 14 years [ 42 ].

As previously stated, inclusion criteria did allow for self-reported health status to be used as a general measure of population health. Within our final selection of studies, seven utilized some form of subjective health as an outcome variable [ 25 , 43 – 48 ]. Additionally, the Health Human Development Index [ 49 ], healthy life expectancy [ 50 ], old-age survival [ 51 ], potential years of life lost [ 52 ], and disability-adjusted life expectancy [ 25 ] were also used.

We note that while in most cases the indicators mentioned above (and/or the covariates considered, see below) were taken in their absolute or logarithmic form, as a—typically annual—number, sometimes they were used in the form of differences, change rates, averages over a given time period, or even z-scores of rankings [ 19 , 22 , 40 , 42 , 44 , 53 – 57 ].

Regions, countries, and populations

Despite our decision to confine this review to high-income countries, some variation in the countries and regions studied was still present. Selection seemed to be most often conditioned on the European Union, or the European continent more generally, and the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), though, typically, not all member nations–based on the instances where these were also explicitly listed—were included in a given study. Some of the stated reasons for omitting certain nations included data unavailability [ 30 , 45 , 54 ] or inconsistency [ 20 , 58 ], Gross Domestic Product (GDP) too low [ 40 ], differences in economic development and political stability with the rest of the sampled countries [ 59 ], and national population too small [ 24 , 40 ]. On the other hand, the rationales for selecting a group of countries included having similar above-average infant mortality [ 60 ], similar healthcare systems [ 23 ], and being randomly drawn from a social spending category [ 61 ]. Some researchers were interested explicitly in a specific geographical region, such as Eastern Europe [ 50 ], Central and Eastern Europe [ 48 , 60 ], the Visegrad (V4) group [ 62 ], or the Asia/Pacific area [ 32 ]. In certain instances, national regions or cities, rather than countries, constituted the units of investigation instead [ 31 , 51 , 56 , 62 – 66 ]. In two particular cases, a mix of countries and cities was used [ 35 , 57 ]. In another two [ 28 , 29 ], due to the long time periods under study, some of the included countries no longer exist. Finally, besides “European” and “OECD”, the terms “developed”, “Western”, and “industrialized” were also used to describe the group of selected nations [ 30 , 42 , 52 , 53 , 67 ].

As stated above, it was the health status of the general population that we were interested in, and during screening we made a concerted effort to exclude research using data based on a more narrowly defined group of individuals. All studies included in this review adhere to this general rule, albeit with two caveats. First, as cities (even neighborhoods) were the unit of analysis in three of the studies that made the selection [ 56 , 64 , 65 ], the populations under investigation there can be more accurately described as general urban , instead of just general. Second, oftentimes health indicators were stratified based on gender and/or age, therefore we also admitted one study that, due to its specific research question, focused on men and women of early retirement age [ 35 ] and another that considered adult males only [ 68 ].

Data types and sources

A great diversity of sources was utilized for data collection purposes. The accessible reference databases of the OECD ( ), WHO ( ), World Bank ( ), United Nations ( ), and Eurostat ( ) were among the top choices. The other international databases included Human Mortality [ 30 , 39 , 50 ], Transparency International [ 40 , 48 , 50 ], Quality of Government [ 28 , 69 ], World Income Inequality [ 30 ], International Labor Organization [ 41 ], International Monetary Fund [ 70 ]. A number of national databases were referred to as well, for example the US Bureau of Statistics [ 42 , 53 ], Korean Statistical Information Services [ 67 ], Statistics Canada [ 67 ], Australian Bureau of Statistics [ 67 ], and Health New Zealand Tobacco control and Health New Zealand Food and Nutrition [ 19 ]. Well-known surveys, such as the World Values Survey [ 25 , 55 ], the European Social Survey [ 25 , 39 , 44 ], the Eurobarometer [ 46 , 56 ], the European Value Survey [ 25 ], and the European Statistics of Income and Living Condition Survey [ 43 , 47 , 70 ] were used as data sources, too. Finally, in some cases [ 25 , 28 , 29 , 35 , 36 , 41 , 69 ], built-for-purpose datasets from previous studies were re-used.

In most of the studies, the level of the data (and analysis) was national. The exceptions were six papers that dealt with Nomenclature of Territorial Units of Statistics (NUTS2) regions [ 31 , 62 , 63 , 66 ], otherwise defined areas [ 51 ] or cities [ 56 ], and seven others that were multilevel designs and utilized both country- and region-level data [ 57 ], individual- and city- or country-level [ 35 ], individual- and country-level [ 44 , 45 , 48 ], individual- and neighborhood-level [ 64 ], and city-region- (NUTS3) and country-level data [ 65 ]. Parallel to that, the data type was predominantly longitudinal, with only a few studies using purely cross-sectional data [ 25 , 33 , 43 , 45 – 48 , 50 , 62 , 67 , 68 , 71 , 72 ], albeit in four of those [ 43 , 48 , 68 , 72 ] two separate points in time were taken (thus resulting in a kind of “double cross-section”), while in another the averages across survey waves were used [ 56 ].

In studies using longitudinal data, the length of the covered time periods varied greatly. Although this was almost always less than 40 years, in one study it covered the entire 20 th century [ 29 ]. Longitudinal data, typically in the form of annual records, was sometimes transformed before usage. For example, some researchers considered data points at 5- [ 34 , 36 , 49 ] or 10-year [ 27 , 29 , 35 ] intervals instead of the traditional 1, or took averages over 3-year periods [ 42 , 53 , 73 ]. In one study concerned with the effect of the Great Recession all data were in a “recession minus expansion change in trends”-form [ 57 ]. Furthermore, there were a few instances where two different time periods were compared to each other [ 42 , 53 ] or when data was divided into 2 to 4 (possibly overlapping) periods which were then analyzed separately [ 24 , 26 , 28 , 29 , 31 , 65 ]. Lastly, owing to data availability issues, discrepancies between the time points or periods of data on the different variables were occasionally observed [ 22 , 35 , 42 , 53 – 55 , 63 ].

Health determinants

Together with other essential details, Table 1 lists the health correlates considered in the selected studies. Several general categories for these correlates can be discerned, including health care, political stability, socio-economics, demographics, psychology, environment, fertility, life-style, culture, labor. All of these, directly or implicitly, have been recognized as holding importance for population health by existing theoretical models of (social) determinants of health [ 74 – 77 ].


It is worth noting that in a few studies there was just a single aggregate-level covariate investigated in relation to a health outcome of interest to us. In one instance, this was life satisfaction [ 44 ], in another–welfare system typology [ 45 ], but also gender inequality [ 33 ], austerity level [ 70 , 78 ], and deprivation [ 51 ]. Most often though, attention went exclusively to GDP [ 27 , 29 , 46 , 57 , 65 , 71 ]. It was often the case that research had a more particular focus. Among others, minimum wages [ 79 ], hospital payment schemes [ 23 ], cigarette prices [ 63 ], social expenditure [ 20 ], residents’ dissatisfaction [ 56 ], income inequality [ 30 , 69 ], and work leave [ 41 , 58 ] took center stage. Whenever variables outside of these specific areas were also included, they were usually identified as confounders or controls, moderators or mediators.

We visualized the combinations in which the different determinants have been studied in Fig 2 , which was obtained via multidimensional scaling and a subsequent cluster analysis (details outlined in S2 Appendix ). It depicts the spatial positioning of each determinant relative to all others, based on the number of times the effects of each pair of determinants have been studied simultaneously. When interpreting Fig 2 , one should keep in mind that determinants marked with an asterisk represent, in fact, collectives of variables.


Groups of determinants are marked by asterisks (see S1 Table in S1 Appendix ). Diminishing color intensity reflects a decrease in the total number of “connections” for a given determinant. Noteworthy pairwise “connections” are emphasized via lines (solid-dashed-dotted indicates decreasing frequency). Grey contour lines encircle groups of variables that were identified via cluster analysis. Abbreviations: age = population age distribution, associations = membership in associations, AT-index = atherogenic-thrombogenic index, BR = birth rate, CAPB = Cyclically Adjusted Primary Balance, civilian-labor = civilian labor force, C-section = Cesarean delivery rate, credit-info = depth of credit information, dissatisf = residents’ dissatisfaction, distrib.orient = distributional orientation, EDU = education, eHealth = eHealth index at GP-level, exch.rate = exchange rate, fat = fat consumption, GDP = gross domestic product, GFCF = Gross Fixed Capital Formation/Creation, GH-gas = greenhouse gas, GII = gender inequality index, gov = governance index, gov.revenue = government revenues, HC-coverage = healthcare coverage, HE = health(care) expenditure, HHconsump = household consumption, hosp.beds = hospital beds, hosp.payment = hospital payment scheme, hosp.stay = length of hospital stay, IDI = ICT development index, inc.ineq = income inequality, industry-labor = industrial labor force, infant-sex = infant sex ratio, labor-product = labor production, LBW = low birth weight, leave = work leave, life-satisf = life satisfaction, M-age = maternal age, marginal-tax = marginal tax rate, MDs = physicians, mult.preg = multiple pregnancy, NHS = Nation Health System, NO = nitrous oxide emissions, PM10 = particulate matter (PM10) emissions, pop = population size, pop.density = population density, pre-term = pre-term birth rate, prison = prison population, researchE = research&development expenditure, school.ref = compulsory schooling reform, smoke-free = smoke-free places, SO = sulfur oxide emissions, soc.E = social expenditure, soc.workers = social workers, sugar = sugar consumption, terror = terrorism, union = union density, UR = unemployment rate, urban = urbanization, veg-fr = vegetable-and-fruit consumption, welfare = welfare regime, Wwater = wastewater treatment.

Distances between determinants in Fig 2 are indicative of determinants’ “connectedness” with each other. While the statistical procedure called for higher dimensionality of the model, for demonstration purposes we show here a two-dimensional solution. This simplification unfortunately comes with a caveat. To use the factor smoking as an example, it would appear it stands at a much greater distance from GDP than it does from alcohol. In reality however, smoking was considered together with alcohol consumption [ 21 , 25 , 26 , 52 , 68 ] in just as many studies as it was with GDP [ 21 , 25 , 26 , 52 , 59 ], five. To aid with respect to this apparent shortcoming, we have emphasized the strongest pairwise links. Solid lines connect GDP with health expenditure (HE), unemployment rate (UR), and education (EDU), indicating that the effect of GDP on health, taking into account the effects of the other three determinants as well, was evaluated in between 12 to 16 studies of the 60 included in this review. Tracing the dashed lines, we can also tell that GDP appeared jointly with income inequality, and HE together with either EDU or UR, in anywhere between 8 to 10 of our selected studies. Finally, some weaker but still worth-mentioning “connections” between variables are displayed as well via the dotted lines.

The fact that all notable pairwise “connections” are concentrated within a relatively small region of the plot may be interpreted as low overall “connectedness” among the health indicators studied. GDP is the most widely investigated determinant in relation to general population health. Its total number of “connections” is disproportionately high (159) compared to its runner-up–HE (with 113 “connections”), and then subsequently EDU (with 90) and UR (with 86). In fact, all of these determinants could be thought of as outliers, given that none of the remaining factors have a total count of pairings above 52. This decrease in individual determinants’ overall “connectedness” can be tracked on the graph via the change of color intensity as we move outwards from the symbolic center of GDP and its closest “co-determinants”, to finally reach the other extreme of the ten indicators (welfare regime, household consumption, compulsory school reform, life satisfaction, government revenues, literacy, research expenditure, multiple pregnancy, Cyclically Adjusted Primary Balance, and residents’ dissatisfaction; in white) the effects on health of which were only studied in isolation.

Lastly, we point to the few small but stable clusters of covariates encircled by the grey bubbles on Fig 2 . These groups of determinants were identified as “close” by both statistical procedures used for the production of the graph (see details in S2 Appendix ).

Statistical methodology

There was great variation in the level of statistical detail reported. Some authors provided too vague a description of their analytical approach, necessitating some inference in this section.

The issue of missing data is a challenging reality in this field of research, but few of the studies under review (12/60) explain how they dealt with it. Among the ones that do, three general approaches to handling missingness can be identified, listed in increasing level of sophistication: case-wise deletion, i.e., removal of countries from the sample [ 20 , 45 , 48 , 58 , 59 ], (linear) interpolation [ 28 , 30 , 34 , 58 , 59 , 63 ], and multiple imputation [ 26 , 41 , 52 ].

Correlations, Pearson, Spearman, or unspecified, were the only technique applied with respect to the health outcomes of interest in eight analyses [ 33 , 42 – 44 , 46 , 53 , 57 , 61 ]. Among the more advanced statistical methods, the family of regression models proved to be, by and large, predominant. Before examining this closer, we note the techniques that were, in a way, “unique” within this selection of studies: meta-analyses were performed (random and fixed effects, respectively) on the reduced form and 2-sample two stage least squares (2SLS) estimations done within countries [ 39 ]; difference-in-difference (DiD) analysis was applied in one case [ 23 ]; dynamic time-series methods, among which co-integration, impulse-response function (IRF), and panel vector autoregressive (VAR) modeling, were utilized in one study [ 80 ]; longitudinal generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were developed on two occasions [ 70 , 78 ]; hierarchical Bayesian spatial models [ 51 ] and special autoregressive regression [ 62 ] were also implemented.

Purely cross-sectional data analyses were performed in eight studies [ 25 , 45 , 47 , 50 , 55 , 56 , 67 , 71 ]. These consisted of linear regression (assumed ordinary least squares (OLS)), generalized least squares (GLS) regression, and multilevel analyses. However, six other studies that used longitudinal data in fact had a cross-sectional design, through which they applied regression at multiple time-points separately [ 27 , 29 , 36 , 48 , 68 , 72 ].

Apart from these “multi-point cross-sectional studies”, some other simplistic approaches to longitudinal data analysis were found, involving calculating and regressing 3-year averages of both the response and the predictor variables [ 54 ], taking the average of a few data-points (i.e., survey waves) [ 56 ] or using difference scores over 10-year [ 19 , 29 ] or unspecified time intervals [ 40 , 55 ].

Moving further in the direction of more sensible longitudinal data usage, we turn to the methods widely known among (health) economists as “panel data analysis” or “panel regression”. Most often seen were models with fixed effects for country/region and sometimes also time-point (occasionally including a country-specific trend as well), with robust standard errors for the parameter estimates to take into account correlations among clustered observations [ 20 , 21 , 24 , 28 , 30 , 32 , 34 , 37 , 38 , 41 , 52 , 59 , 60 , 63 , 66 , 69 , 73 , 79 , 81 , 82 ]. The Hausman test [ 83 ] was sometimes mentioned as the tool used to decide between fixed and random effects [ 26 , 49 , 63 , 66 , 73 , 82 ]. A few studies considered the latter more appropriate for their particular analyses, with some further specifying that (feasible) GLS estimation was employed [ 26 , 34 , 49 , 58 , 60 , 73 ]. Apart from these two types of models, the first differences method was encountered once as well [ 31 ]. Across all, the error terms were sometimes assumed to come from a first-order autoregressive process (AR(1)), i.e., they were allowed to be serially correlated [ 20 , 30 , 38 , 58 – 60 , 73 ], and lags of (typically) predictor variables were included in the model specification, too [ 20 , 21 , 37 , 38 , 48 , 69 , 81 ]. Lastly, a somewhat different approach to longitudinal data analysis was undertaken in four studies [ 22 , 35 , 48 , 65 ] in which multilevel–linear or Poisson–models were developed.

Regardless of the exact techniques used, most studies included in this review presented multiple model applications within their main analysis. None attempted to formally compare models in order to identify the “best”, even if goodness-of-fit statistics were occasionally reported. As indicated above, many studies investigated women’s and men’s health separately [ 19 , 21 , 22 , 27 – 29 , 31 , 33 , 35 , 36 , 38 , 39 , 45 , 50 , 51 , 64 , 65 , 69 , 82 ], and covariates were often tested one at a time, including other covariates only incrementally [ 20 , 25 , 28 , 36 , 40 , 50 , 55 , 67 , 73 ]. Furthermore, there were a few instances where analyses within countries were performed as well [ 32 , 39 , 51 ] or where the full time period of interest was divided into a few sub-periods [ 24 , 26 , 28 , 31 ]. There were also cases where different statistical techniques were applied in parallel [ 29 , 55 , 60 , 66 , 69 , 73 , 82 ], sometimes as a form of sensitivity analysis [ 24 , 26 , 30 , 58 , 73 ]. However, the most common approach to sensitivity analysis was to re-run models with somewhat different samples [ 39 , 50 , 59 , 67 , 69 , 80 , 82 ]. Other strategies included different categorization of variables or adding (more/other) controls [ 21 , 23 , 25 , 28 , 37 , 50 , 63 , 69 ], using an alternative main covariate measure [ 59 , 82 ], including lags for predictors or outcomes [ 28 , 30 , 58 , 63 , 65 , 79 ], using weights [ 24 , 67 ] or alternative data sources [ 37 , 69 ], or using non-imputed data [ 41 ].

As the methods and not the findings are the main focus of the current review, and because generic checklists cannot discern the underlying quality in this application field (see also below), we opted to pool all reported findings together, regardless of individual study characteristics or particular outcome(s) used, and speak generally of positive and negative effects on health. For this summary we have adopted the 0.05-significance level and only considered results from multivariate analyses. Strictly birth-related factors are omitted since these potentially only relate to the group of infant mortality indicators and not to any of the other general population health measures.

Starting with the determinants most often studied, higher GDP levels [ 21 , 26 , 27 , 29 , 30 , 32 , 43 , 48 , 52 , 58 , 60 , 66 , 67 , 73 , 79 , 81 , 82 ], higher health [ 21 , 37 , 47 , 49 , 52 , 58 , 59 , 68 , 72 , 82 ] and social [ 20 , 21 , 26 , 38 , 79 ] expenditures, higher education [ 26 , 39 , 52 , 62 , 72 , 73 ], lower unemployment [ 60 , 61 , 66 ], and lower income inequality [ 30 , 42 , 53 , 55 , 73 ] were found to be significantly associated with better population health on a number of occasions. In addition to that, there was also some evidence that democracy [ 36 ] and freedom [ 50 ], higher work compensation [ 43 , 79 ], distributional orientation [ 54 ], cigarette prices [ 63 ], gross national income [ 22 , 72 ], labor productivity [ 26 ], exchange rates [ 32 ], marginal tax rates [ 79 ], vaccination rates [ 52 ], total fertility [ 59 , 66 ], fruit and vegetable [ 68 ], fat [ 52 ] and sugar consumption [ 52 ], as well as bigger depth of credit information [ 22 ] and percentage of civilian labor force [ 79 ], longer work leaves [ 41 , 58 ], more physicians [ 37 , 52 , 72 ], nurses [ 72 ], and hospital beds [ 79 , 82 ], and also membership in associations, perceived corruption and societal trust [ 48 ] were beneficial to health. Higher nitrous oxide (NO) levels [ 52 ], longer average hospital stay [ 48 ], deprivation [ 51 ], dissatisfaction with healthcare and the social environment [ 56 ], corruption [ 40 , 50 ], smoking [ 19 , 26 , 52 , 68 ], alcohol consumption [ 26 , 52 , 68 ] and illegal drug use [ 68 ], poverty [ 64 ], higher percentage of industrial workers [ 26 ], Gross Fixed Capital creation [ 66 ] and older population [ 38 , 66 , 79 ], gender inequality [ 22 ], and fertility [ 26 , 66 ] were detrimental.

It is important to point out that the above-mentioned effects could not be considered stable either across or within studies. Very often, statistical significance of a given covariate fluctuated between the different model specifications tried out within the same study [ 20 , 49 , 59 , 66 , 68 , 69 , 73 , 80 , 82 ], testifying to the importance of control variables and multivariate research (i.e., analyzing multiple independent variables simultaneously) in general. Furthermore, conflicting results were observed even with regards to the “core” determinants given special attention, so to speak, throughout this text. Thus, some studies reported negative effects of health expenditure [ 32 , 82 ], social expenditure [ 58 ], GDP [ 49 , 66 ], and education [ 82 ], and positive effects of income inequality [ 82 ] and unemployment [ 24 , 31 , 32 , 52 , 66 , 68 ]. Interestingly, one study [ 34 ] differentiated between temporary and long-term effects of GDP and unemployment, alluding to possibly much greater complexity of the association with health. It is also worth noting that some gender differences were found, with determinants being more influential for males than for females, or only having statistically significant effects for male health [ 19 , 21 , 28 , 34 , 36 , 37 , 39 , 64 , 65 , 69 ].

The purpose of this scoping review was to examine recent quantitative work on the topic of multi-country analyses of determinants of population health in high-income countries.

Measuring population health via relatively simple mortality-based indicators still seems to be the state of the art. What is more, these indicators are routinely considered one at a time, instead of, for example, employing existing statistical procedures to devise a more general, composite, index of population health, or using some of the established indices, such as disability-adjusted life expectancy (DALE) or quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). Although strong arguments for their wider use were already voiced decades ago [ 84 ], such summary measures surface only rarely in this research field.

On a related note, the greater data availability and accessibility that we enjoy today does not automatically equate to data quality. Nonetheless, this is routinely assumed in aggregate level studies. We almost never encountered a discussion on the topic. The non-mundane issue of data missingness, too, goes largely underappreciated. With all recent methodological advancements in this area [ 85 – 88 ], there is no excuse for ignorance; and still, too few of the reviewed studies tackled the matter in any adequate fashion.

Much optimism can be gained considering the abundance of different determinants that have attracted researchers’ attention in relation to population health. We took on a visual approach with regards to these determinants and presented a graph that links spatial distances between determinants with frequencies of being studies together. To facilitate interpretation, we grouped some variables, which resulted in some loss of finer detail. Nevertheless, the graph is helpful in exemplifying how many effects continue to be studied in a very limited context, if any. Since in reality no factor acts in isolation, this oversimplification practice threatens to render the whole exercise meaningless from the outset. The importance of multivariate analysis cannot be stressed enough. While there is no “best method” to be recommended and appropriate techniques vary according to the specifics of the research question and the characteristics of the data at hand [ 89 – 93 ], in the future, in addition to abandoning simplistic univariate approaches, we hope to see a shift from the currently dominating fixed effects to the more flexible random/mixed effects models [ 94 ], as well as wider application of more sophisticated methods, such as principle component regression, partial least squares, covariance structure models (e.g., structural equations), canonical correlations, time-series, and generalized estimating equations.

Finally, there are some limitations of the current scoping review. We searched the two main databases for published research in medical and non-medical sciences (PubMed and Web of Science) since 2013, thus potentially excluding publications and reports that are not indexed in these databases, as well as older indexed publications. These choices were guided by our interest in the most recent (i.e., the current state-of-the-art) and arguably the highest-quality research (i.e., peer-reviewed articles, primarily in indexed non-predatory journals). Furthermore, despite holding a critical stance with regards to some aspects of how determinants-of-health research is currently conducted, we opted out of formally assessing the quality of the individual studies included. The reason for that is two-fold. On the one hand, we are unaware of the existence of a formal and standard tool for quality assessment of ecological designs. And on the other, we consider trying to score the quality of these diverse studies (in terms of regional setting, specific topic, outcome indices, and methodology) undesirable and misleading, particularly since we would sometimes have been rating the quality of only a (small) part of the original studies—the part that was relevant to our review’s goal.

Our aim was to investigate the current state of research on the very broad and general topic of population health, specifically, the way it has been examined in a multi-country context. We learned that data treatment and analytical approach were, in the majority of these recent studies, ill-equipped or insufficiently transparent to provide clarity regarding the underlying mechanisms of population health in high-income countries. Whether due to methodological shortcomings or the inherent complexity of the topic, research so far fails to provide any definitive answers. It is our sincere belief that with the application of more advanced analytical techniques this continuous quest could come to fruition sooner.

Supporting information

S1 checklist. preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses extension for scoping reviews (prisma-scr) checklist..

S1 Appendix.

S2 Appendix.

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300+ Health Related Research Topics For Medical Students(2023)

Health Related Research Topics

In the world of academia and healthcare, finding the right health-related research topics is essential. Whether you are a medical student, a college student, or a seasoned researcher, the choice of your research topic greatly impacts the quality and relevance of your work. This blog, health related research topics, is your guide to selecting the perfect subject for your research.

In this post, we will share 5 invaluable tips to help you pick suitable health-related research topics. Additionally, we will outline the crucial elements that every health-related research paper should incorporate.

Furthermore, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 300+ health-related research topics for medical students in 2023. These include categories like mental health, public health, nutrition, chronic diseases, healthcare policy, and more. We also offer guidance on selecting the right topic to ensure your research is engaging and meaningful.

So, whether you are delving into mental health, investigating environmental factors, or exploring global health concerns, health-related research topics will assist you in making informed and impactful choices for your research journey, even within the hardest medical specialties .

What Is Health Research?

Table of Contents

Health research is like detective work to understand how our bodies work and how to keep them healthy. It’s like asking questions and finding answers about things like sickness, medicine, and how to live better. Scientists and doctors do health research to learn new ways to treat illnesses, like finding better medicines or discovering new ways to prevent diseases.

Health research is a puzzle, where scientists collect information, do experiments, and study many people to find out what makes us healthy or sick. They want to find clues and put them together to help us stay well and live longer. So, health research is like a quest to learn more about our bodies and find ways to make them work their best, keeping us happy and strong.

5 Useful Tips For Choosing Health Related Research Topics

Here are some useful tips for choosing health related research topics: 

Tip 1: Follow Your Interests

When picking a health research topic, it’s a good idea to choose something you’re curious and excited about. If you’re interested in a subject, you’ll enjoy learning more about it, and you’ll be motivated to do your best. So, think about what aspects of health catch your attention and explore those areas for your research.

Tip 2: Consider Relevance

Your research topic should be meaningful and have real-world importance. Think about how your research can contribute to solving health problems or improving people’s well-being. Topics that are relevant and can make a positive impact on health and healthcare are usually more valuable.

Tip 3: Check Available Resources

Before deciding on a research topic, make sure you have access to the necessary resources, like books, articles, or equipment. It’s important that you can find the information and tools you need to conduct your research effectively.

Tip 4: Keep It Manageable

Select a research topic that you can handle within the available time and resources. It’s better to choose a more focused and manageable topic rather than something too broad or complex. This way, you can delve deep into the subject and produce meaningful results.

Tip 5: Seek Guidance

Don’t hesitate to ask for guidance from teachers, professors, or experts in the field. They can help you refine your research topic, provide valuable insights, and suggest improvements. Seeking advice can make your research journey smoother and more successful.

Important Elements That Must Be Present In A Health Related Research Paper

Here are some important elements that must be present in a health related research paper: 

1. Clear Title and Introduction

A good health research paper needs a clear title that tells people what it’s about. The introduction should explain why the research is important and what the paper will discuss. It’s like the map that shows the way.

2. Methods and Data

You should describe how you did your research and the data you collected. This helps others understand how you found your information. It’s like showing your work in math so that others can check it.

3. Results and Conclusions

After doing your research, you need to show what you discovered. Share the results and what they mean. Conclusions tell people what you found out and why it’s important. It’s like the “So what?” part of your paper.

4. Citations and References

When you use other people’s ideas or words, you need to give them credit. Citations and references show where you got your information. It’s like saying, “I learned this from here.”

5. Clear Language and Organization

Make sure your paper is easy to read and well-organized. Use clear and simple language so that everyone can understand. Organize your paper logically, with a beginning, middle, and end, like a good story. This makes your research paper more effective and useful.

In this section, we will discuss 300+ health related research topics for medical students(2023): 

Health Related Research Topics

  • How living choices affect health and how long people live.
  • Ways to make it easier for people in underserved areas to get medical care.
  • The role of DNA in determining susceptibility to different diseases.
  • There are differences in health between race and ethnic groups and between socioeconomic groups.
  • Checking how well health education programs encourage people to behave in a healthy way.
  • The effects that stress has on the body and mind.
  • Looking at the pros and cons of different vaccine plans.
  • The link between how well you sleep and your general health.
  • The use of technology to make health care better.
  • How cultural beliefs and habits affect how people seek health care.

Mental Health Related Research Topics

  • Identifying the factors contributing to the rise in mental health disorders among adolescents.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different therapeutic approaches for treating depression and anxiety.
  • How social media can hurt your mental health and self-esteem.
  • We are looking into the link between traumatic events in youth and mental health problems later in life.
  •  Stigma and racism in mental health care, and how they make people less healthy.
  •  Ways to lower the suicide rate among people who are at high risk.
  •  Exercise and other forms of physical action can help your mental health.
  •  The link between using drugs and having mental health problems.
  •  Mental health support for frontline healthcare workers during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  •  Exploring the potential of digital mental health interventions and apps.

Health Related Research Topics For College Students

  • The impact of college stress on physical and mental health.
  •  Assessing the effectiveness of college mental health services.
  •  The role of peer influence on college students’ health behaviors.
  •  Nutrition and dietary habits among college students.
  •  Substance use and abuse on college campuses.
  •  Investigating the prevalence of sleep disorders among college students.
  •  Exploring sexual health awareness and behaviors among college students.
  •  Evaluating the relationship between academic performance and overall health.
  •  The influence of social media on college students’ health perceptions and behaviors.
  •  Ideas for getting people on college grounds to be more active and eat better.

Public Health Related Research Topics

  • Evaluating the impact of public health campaigns on smoking cessation.
  •  The effectiveness of vaccination mandates in preventing disease outbreaks.
  •  Looking into the link between the health of the people in cities and the quality of the air.
  •  Strategies for addressing the opioid epidemic through public health initiatives.
  •  The role of public health surveillance in early disease detection and response.
  •  Assessing the impact of food labeling on consumer choices and nutrition.
  •  Looking at how well public health measures work to lower the number of overweight and obese kids.
  •  The importance of water quality in maintaining public health.
  •  This paper examines various strategies aimed at enhancing mother and child health outcomes in emerging nations.
  •  Addressing the mental health crisis through public health interventions.

Mental Disorder Research Topics

  • The mental health effects of social isolation, with a particular focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.
  •  Exploring the relationship between mental health and creative expression.
  •  Cultural differences influence the way in which mental health disorders are perceived and treated.
  •  The use of mindfulness and meditation techniques in managing mental health.
  •  Investigating the mental health challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals.
  •  Examining the role of nutrition and dietary habits in mood disorders.
  •  The influence of childhood experiences on adult mental health.
  •  Innovative approaches to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
  •  Mental health support for veterans and active-duty military personnel.
  •  The relation between sleep disorders and mental health.

Nutrition and Diet-Related Research Topics

  • The impact of dietary patterns (e.g., Mediterranean, ketogenic) on health outcomes.
  •  Investigating the role of gut microbiota in digestion and overall health.
  •  The effects of food labeling and nutritional education on dietary choices.
  •  The correlation between chronic disease prevention and nutrition.
  •  Assessing the nutritional needs of different age groups (children, adults, elderly).
  •  Exploring the benefits and drawbacks of various diet fads (e.g., intermittent fasting, veganism).
  •  The role of nutrition in managing obesity and weight-related health issues.
  •  Studying nutrition and mental wellness.
  •   Impact of food insecure areas on population health and diet.
  •  Strategies for promoting healthy eating in schools and workplaces.

Chronic Disease Research Topics

  • The contribution of inflammation to the progression and development of chronic diseases.
  •  Evaluating the effectiveness of lifestyle modifications in managing chronic conditions.
  •  The impact of chronic stress on various health conditions.
  •  Investigating disparities in the management and treatment of chronic diseases among different populations.
  •  Exploring the genetics of chronic diseases and potential gene therapies.
  •  The impact that environmental factors, including pollution, have on the prevalence of chronic diseases.
  •  Assessing the long-term health consequences of childhood obesity.
  •  Strategies for improving the quality of life for individuals living with chronic diseases.
  •  The importance of maintaining a healthy level of physical activity and exercise for both the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses.
  •  Investigating innovative treatments and therapies for chronic diseases, such as gene editing and personalized medicine.

Healthcare Policy and Access Research Topics

  • Assessing how the Affordable Care Act affects healthcare access and outcomes.
  •  Telehealth’s impact on rural healthcare access.
  •  Investigating the cost-effectiveness of various healthcare payment models (e.g., single-payer, private insurance).
  •  Assessing healthcare disparities among different racial and socioeconomic groups.
  •  The influence of political ideologies on healthcare policy and access.
  •  Healthcare professional shortage solutions, including nurses and doctors.
  •  The impact of malpractice reform on healthcare quality and access.
  •  Examining the role of pharmaceutical pricing and regulation in healthcare access.
  •  The use of technology in streamlining healthcare administration and improving access.
  •  Exploring the intersection of healthcare policy, ethics, and patient rights.

Environmental Health Research Topics

  • The impact of climate change on public health, including increased heat-related illnesses and vector-borne diseases.
  •  Studying air pollution’s effects on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  •  Assessing the health consequences of exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants.
  •  Exploring the role of green spaces and urban planning in promoting public health.
  •  The impact of water quality and sanitation on community health.
  •  Strategies for minimizing the health risks linked with natural catastrophes and extreme weather events.
  •  Investigating the health implications of food and water security in vulnerable populations.
  •  The influence of environmental justice on health disparities.
  •  Evaluating the benefits of renewable energy sources in reducing air pollution and promoting health.
  •  The role of public policy in addressing environmental health concerns.

Infectious Disease Research Topics

  • Tracking the evolution and spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
  •  Investigating the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns in preventing outbreaks.
  •  Antimicrobial resistance and strategies to combat it.
  •  Assessing the role of vector-borne diseases in global health, such as malaria and Zika virus.
  •  The impact of travel and globalization on the spread of infectious diseases.
  •  Strategies for early detection and containment of emerging infectious diseases.
  •  The role of hygiene and sanitation in reducing infectious disease transmission.
  •  Investigating the cultural factors that influence infectious disease prevention and treatment.
  •  The use of technology in disease surveillance and response.
  • Examining the ethical and legal considerations in managing infectious disease outbreaks.

Women’s Health Research Topics

  • Exploring the gender-specific health issues faced by women, such as reproductive health and menopause.
  • Investigating the impact of hormonal contraception on women’s health.
  • Assessing the barriers to accessing quality maternal healthcare in low-income countries.
  • The role of gender-based violence in women’s mental and physical health.
  • Strategies for promoting women’s sexual health and reproductive rights.
  • Exploring the relationship between breast cancer and genetics.
  • The influence of body image and societal pressures on women’s mental health.
  • Investigating healthcare disparities among different groups of women, including racial and ethnic disparities.
  • Strategies for improving access to women’s healthcare services, including family planning and prenatal care.
  • The use of telemedicine and technology to address women’s health needs, especially in remote areas.

Children’s Health Research Topics

  • The impact of early childhood nutrition on long-term health and development.
  • Environmental toxin exposure and child health.
  • Assessing the role of parenting styles in children’s mental and emotional well-being.
  • Strategies for preventing and managing childhood obesity.
  • The influence of media and technology on children’s physical and mental health.
  • Exploring the challenges faced by children with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
  • The relevance of early child mental wellness and developmental condition intervention.
  • Investigating the role of schools in promoting children’s health and well-being.
  • Strategies for addressing child healthcare disparities, including access to vaccines and preventive care.
  • Adverse childhood experiences and adult health.

Aging and Gerontology Research Topics

  • Investigating the factors contributing to healthy aging and longevity.
  • Assessing the impact of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease on elderly individuals and their families.
  • Strategies for improving elder care services and addressing the aging population’s healthcare needs.
  • Exploring the social isolation and mental health challenges faced by the elderly.
  • The importance of nutrition and exercise in old age.
  • Investigating the impact of age-related chronic diseases, such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
  • Assessing the financial and ethical aspects of end-of-life care for the elderly.
  • Strategies for promoting intergenerational relationships and support networks.
  • The influence of cultural differences on aging and health outcomes.
  • Exploring technology and innovation in elder care, including assistive devices and telemedicine.

Health Technology and Innovation Research Topics

  • The impact of telemedicine and virtual health platforms on patient care and outcomes.
  • Investigating the use of wearable health technology in monitoring and managing chronic conditions.
  • Assessing the ethical and privacy considerations of health data collection through technology.
  • Investigating medical diagnoses and treatment with AI and ML.
  • The role of robotics in healthcare, including surgical procedures and elder care.
  • Investigating the use of 3D printing in healthcare, such as prosthetics and medical devices.
  • The influence of mobile health apps on patient engagement and self-care.
  • Strategies for implementing electronic health records (EHRs) and interoperability.
  • The impact of precision medicine and genomics on personalized healthcare.
  • Exploring the future of healthcare delivery through telehealth, remote monitoring, and AI-driven diagnostics.

Global Health Research Topics

  • Investigating the challenges of global health equity and healthcare access in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of international health organizations in addressing global health crises.
  • Resource-limited mother and child health strategies.
  • Exploring the impact of infectious diseases in global health, including tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
  • The role of clean water and sanitation in improving global health outcomes.
  • Investigating the social determinants of health in different global regions.
  • Assessing the impact of humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts on public health.
  • Strategies for combating malnutrition and food insecurity in developing countries.
  • The influence of climate change on global health, including the spread of vector-borne diseases.
  • Exploring innovative approaches to global health, such as community health workers and telemedicine initiatives.
  • Exploring the artificial intelligence and machine learning in medical treatment.

Health Disparities and Equity Research Topics

  • The impact of socioeconomic status on healthcare access and health outcomes.
  • Strategies to decrease racial and ethnic disparities in maternal and child health.
  • LGBTQ+ healthcare disparities and interventions for equitable care.
  • Health disparities among rural and urban populations in developed and developing countries.
  • Cultural competence in healthcare and its role in reducing disparities.
  • The intersection of gender, race, and socioeconomic status in health disparities.
  • Addressing health disparities in the elderly population.
  • The role of discrimination in perpetuating health inequities.
  • Strategies to improve healthcare access for individuals with disabilities.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on health disparities and lessons learned for future pandemics.

Cancer Research Topics

  • Advancements in precision medicine for personalized cancer treatment.
  • Immunotherapy breakthroughs in cancer treatment.
  • Environmental factors and cancer risk: A comprehensive review.
  • The role of genomics in understanding cancer susceptibility.
  • Cancer treatment and survivorship, as well as quality of life following cancer therapy.
  • The economics of cancer treatment and its impact on patients.
  • Cancer prevention and early detection strategies in underserved communities.
  • Palliative care and end-of-life decisions in cancer patients.
  • Emerging trends in cancer epidemiology and global burden.
  • Ethical considerations in cancer clinical trials and research.

Pharmaceutical Research Topics

  • Repurposing existing medications in order to address uncommon illnesses.
  • The impact of nanotechnology in drug delivery and targeting.
  • Pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine: Current status and future prospects.
  • Challenges and opportunities in developing vaccines for emerging infectious diseases.
  • Quality control and safety in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.
  • Drug pricing and access: A global perspective.
  • Green chemistry approaches in sustainable pharmaceutical development.
  • The part that artificial intelligence plays in the search for new drugs and their development.
  • Biopharmaceuticals and the future of protein-based therapies.
  • Regulatory challenges in ensuring drug safety and efficacy.

Epidemiology Research Topics

  • Emerging infectious diseases and global preparedness.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic will have long-term effect on the health of the general population.
  • Social determinants of health and their impact on disease prevalence.
  • Environmental epidemiology and the study of health effects of pollution.
  • Big data and its role in modern epidemiological research.
  • Spatial epidemiology and the study of disease clusters.
  • Epidemiological aspects of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and obesity.
  • Genetic epidemiology and the study of hereditary diseases.
  • Epidemiological methods for studying mental health disorders.
  • Epidemiology of zoonotic diseases and their prevention.

Alternative and Complementary Medicine Research Topics

  • Efficacy and safety of herbal remedies in complementary medicine.
  • Mind-body interventions and their role in managing chronic pain.
  • Acupuncture and its potential in the treatment of various conditions.
  • Integrating traditional and complementary medicine into mainstream healthcare.
  • Yoga and meditation for stress reduction and mental health.
  • Biofield therapies and their impact on well-being.
  • Ayurvedic medicine and its modern applications in health and wellness.
  • Chiropractic care and its use in musculoskeletal health.
  • Ethical considerations in the practice and regulation of alternative medicine.
  • Integrating traditional Chinese medicine into Western healthcare systems.

Occupational Health and Safety Research Topics

  • Occupational hazards in healthcare settings and strategies for prevention.
  • The impact of remote work on occupational health and well-being.
  • Ergonomics and its role in preventing workplace injuries.
  • Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals and long-term health effects.
  • Mental health in the office: Stress, burnout, and interventions.
  • Occupational safety in the construction industry: Recent developments.
  • Role of technology in enhancing workplace safety.
  • Occupational health disparities among different industries and occupations.
  • The economics of workplace safety and the cost-benefit analysis.
  • Business impacts of OSHA regulations.

Addiction and Substance Abuse Research Topics

  • The opioid epidemic: Current status and future strategies.
  • Dual diagnosis: Co-occurring mental health disorders and substance abuse.
  • Harm reduction approaches in addiction treatment.
  • The role of family and social support in addiction recovery.
  • Behavioral addictions: Understanding and treating non-substance-related addictions.
  • Novel pharmacotherapies for addiction treatment.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on substance abuse and addiction.
  • Substance abuse prevention programs in schools and communities.
  • Stigmatization of addiction and its impact on treatment-seeking behavior.
  • Substance abuse in the elderly population: Unique challenges and solutions.

Biomedical Research Topics

  • Recent advancements in gene editing technologies (e.g., CRISPR-Cas9).
  • Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering for organ replacement.
  • Bioinformatics and its role in analyzing large-scale biological data.
  • Stem cell research and its important applications in regenerative medicine.
  • Biomarker discovery for early disease detection and monitoring.
  • Precision medicine and its potential to transform healthcare.
  • The microbiome and its impacts on human health and disease.
  • Aging-related research and interventions for healthy aging.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases and potential therapeutic approaches.
  • Biomedical ethics in the age of cutting-edge research.

Maternal and Child Health Research Topics

  • The influence of the mother’s nutrition on the development and health of the fetus.
  • Maternal mental health and its positive effects on child development.
  • Preterm birth prevention and interventions for at-risk pregnancies.
  • Neonatal screening and early diagnosis of congenital diseases.
  • Breastfeeding promotion and support for new mothers.
  • Pediatric immunization programs and vaccine hesitancy.
  • Child obesity prevention and intervention strategies.
  • Maternal and child health in low-resource and conflict-affected areas.
  • Maternal mortality reduction and improving access to obstetric care.
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their long-term health consequences.

Mental Health Stigma Research Topics

  • Understanding the origins and perpetuation of mental health stigma.
  • Media and pop culture’s impact on mental disease views.
  • Reducing stigma in the workplace and promoting mental health support.
  • Stigma associated with specific mental health conditions (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder).
  • Intersectionality and how it influences mental health stigma.
  • Anti-stigma campaigns and their effectiveness in changing public attitudes.
  • Stigma in online communities and the role of social media in shaping opinions.
  • Cultural and cross-cultural perspectives on mental health stigma.
  • The impact of self-stigma on individuals seeking mental health treatment.
  • Legislative and policy efforts to combat mental health stigma.

Health Education and Promotion Research Topics

  • Health literacy and its impact on informed decision-making.
  • Promoting healthy behaviors in schools and educational settings.
  • Social marketing campaigns for health behavior change.
  • Community-based health promotion programs in underserved areas.
  • The role of technology and social media in health education.
  • Tailoring health messages to diverse populations and cultural sensitivity.
  • The use of behavioral economics in health promotion strategies.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of school-based sex education programs.
  • Health education for the elderly population: Challenges and solutions.
  • Promoting mental health awareness and resilience through education.

Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Research Topics

  • Patient-centered care and its impact on healthcare quality.
  • Reducing medical errors and negative events in healthcare settings.
  • Continuous quality improvement in healthcare organizations.
  • The role of healthcare accreditation in ensuring quality and safety.
  • Patient engagement and shared decision-making in healthcare.
  • Electronic health records and patient safety.
  • The ethics of telling patients and families about medical blunders.
  • Medication safety and preventing adverse drug events.
  • Cultural competence in healthcare and its effect on patient safety.
  • Disaster preparedness and response in healthcare settings.

Health Informatics and Data Analytics Research Topics

  • Big data analytics in healthcare for predictive modeling.
  • Artificial intelligence in medical image analysis and diagnostics.
  • Health information exchange and interoperability challenges.
  • Electronic health record (EHR) usability and user satisfaction.
  • Patient data privacy and security in health informatics.
  • Telemedicine and its impact on healthcare delivery and data management.
  • Real-time monitoring and data analytics for disease outbreaks.
  • Health informatics applications in personalized medicine.
  • Natural language processing for clinical notes and text analysis.
  • The role of data analyticsin enhancing healthcare quality and outcomes.

Neurological Disorders Research Topics

  • Neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s).
  • Stroke prevention and rehabilitation strategies.
  • Advances in brain imaging techniques for diagnosing neurological disorders.
  • Pediatric neurological disorders: Diagnosis and intervention.
  • Neurogenetics and the role of genetics in neurological conditions.
  • Traumatic brain injury: Long-term effects and rehabilitation.
  • Neurorehabilitation and quality of life improvement in patients with neurological disorders.
  • Neurological consequences of long COVID and post-viral syndromes.
  • The gut-brain connection and its implications for neurological health.
  • Ethical considerations in neurological research and treatment.

Bioethics in Health Research Topics

  • Informed consent and its challenges in clinical trials and research.
  • Ethical considerations in human genome editing and gene therapy.
  • Allocation of healthcare resources and the principles of distributive justice.
  • The ethics of organ transplantation and organ trafficking.
  • End-of-life decision-making, including physician-assisted suicide.
  • Ethical issues in the use of Artficial intelligence in healthcare decision-making.
  • Research involving vulnerable populations: Balancing benefits and risks.
  • Ethical considerations in global health research and disparities.
  • Ethical implications of emerging biotechnologies, such as CRISPR-Cas9.
  • Autonomy and decision-making capacity in healthcare ethics.

Read More 

  • Biology Research Topics
  • Neuroscience Research Topics

Points To Be Remembered While Selecting Health Related Research Topics

When selecting a health-related research topic, there are several important considerations to keep in mind to ensure your research is meaningful and effective. Here are 7 key points to remember:

  • Interest and Passion: Choose a topic that is according to your interests you, as your enthusiasm will fuel your research.
  • Relevance: Ensure your topic addresses a real health issue or concern that can make a positive impact.
  • Resources Availability: Confirm that you have access to the necessary materials and information for your research.
  • Manageability: Pick a topic that is not too broad, ensuring it’s something you can investigate thoroughly.
  • Guidance: Seek advice from experts or mentors to refine your topic and receive valuable insights.
  • Ethical Considerations : Always consider the ethical implications of your research and ensure it complies with ethical guidelines.
  • Feasibility: Ensure that the research can be completed within the available time and resources.

In the ever-evolving landscape of health research, selecting the right topic is the foundation for meaningful contributions. This blog has provided a roadmap for choosing health-related research topics, emphasizing the importance of personal interest, relevance, available resources, manageability, and expert guidance. Additionally, it has offered 300+ research topics across various domains, including mental health, public health, nutrition, chronic diseases, healthcare policy, and more. 

In addition, with these insights, researchers, students, and healthcare professionals can embark on journeys that not only align with their passions but also address critical healthcare challenges. By making informed choices, we can collectively advance the frontiers of health and well-being.

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Investigators from the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences play key leadership roles in many of Mayo Clinic's clinical research programs, including studies on cancer; neurology; heart, lung and blood disorders; gastrointestinal diseases; endocrine and metabolic conditions; kidney and urinary disorders; musculoskeletal disorders; and genetic epidemiology.


Reengineering the clinical research enterprise

With funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Quantitative Health Sciences faculty members lead clinical research education and career development programs as part of a national initiative to develop the next generation of clinical researchers.

The Department of Quantitative Health Sciences at Mayo Clinic is a multidisciplinary group with hundreds of staff members, located in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota, who are dedicated to improving patient care through medical research.

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Evolving from the department's rich heritage, Quantitative Health Sciences investigators today play key leadership roles in many of Mayo's clinical research programs, including programs in:

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  • Gastrointestinal diseases.
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Faculty and staff members also conduct leading-edge methods of research on a wide range of areas, such as:

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  • Molecular epidemiology of various conditions.
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  • Outcomes analyses.
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Faculty members in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences lead Mayo's clinical research education and career development efforts. These NIH -funded programs are part of a national initiative to reengineer the clinical research enterprise and are directed toward developing the next generation of clinical researchers.

The Department of Quantitative Health Sciences is an exciting and unique research area at Mayo Clinic. The department encourages prospective students, employees and visitors to inquire for more information .

The Mayo Clinic Department of Quantitative Health Sciences has a rich heritage dating back to Joseph Berkson, M.D., (chair, 1933-1964) and Leonard T. Kurland, M.D. (chair, 1964-1987). In 1935, Dr. Berkson developed a computerized medical diagnostic coding system, capturing all patient diagnoses and procedures to efficiently facilitate clinical research.

Building on Dr. Berkson's work, in 1966 Dr. Kurland initiated the Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) , which constitutes an unparalleled resource for population-based epidemiologic studies. The REP has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for longer than 40 years, resulting in more than 1,500 peer-reviewed publications to date.

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Handbook of Global Health pp 1–22 Cite as

Quantitative Methods in Global Health Research

  • Jamalludin Ab Rahman 5  
  • Living reference work entry
  • First Online: 24 November 2020

78 Accesses

Quantitative research is the foundation for evidence-based global health practice and interventions. Preparing health research starts with a clear research question to initiate the study, careful planning using sound methodology as well as the development and management of the capacity and resources to complete the whole research cycle. Good planning will also ensure valid research outcomes. Quantitative research emphasizes a clear target population, proper sampling techniques, adequate sample size, detailed planning for data collection, and proper statistical analysis. This chapter provides an overview of quantitative research methods, explains relevant study designs, and presents considerations on all aspect of the research cycle along four phases: initiation, planning, data collection, and reporting phase.

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Kulliyyah of Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Jamalludin Ab Rahman

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Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Robin Haring

Global Health Programme, Graduate Institute of International and, Geneva, Switzerland

Ilona Kickbusch

Charite-Univ.-Med. Berlin, Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Detlev Ganten

Africa, Brazzaville, Rep of the Congo, World Health Organization Regional Offic, Brazzaville, Congo, Demographic Republic (Zaire)

Matshidiso Moeti

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Ab Rahman, J. (2021). Quantitative Methods in Global Health Research. In: Haring, R., Kickbusch, I., Ganten, D., Moeti, M. (eds) Handbook of Global Health. Springer, Cham.

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Received : 24 August 2020

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Publisher Name : Springer, Cham

Print ISBN : 978-3-030-05325-3

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Common Data Types in Public Health Research

Quantitative data.

  • Quantitative data is measurable, often used for comparisons, and involves counting of people, behaviors, conditions, or other discrete events (Wang, 2013).
  • Quantitative data uses numbers to determine the what, who, when, and where of health-related events (Wang, 2013).
  • Examples of quantitative data include: age, weight, temperature, or the number of people suffering from diabetes.

Qualitative Data

  • Qualitative data is a broad category of data that can include almost any non-numerical data.
  • Qualitative data uses words to describe a particular health-related event (Romano).
  • This data can be observed, but not measured.
  • Involves observing people in selected places and listening to discover how they feel and why they might feel that way (Wang, 2013).
  • Examples of qualitative data include: male/female, smoker/non-smoker, or questionnaire response (agree, disagree, neutral).
  • Measuring organizational change.
  • Measures of clinical leadership in implementing evidence-based guidelines.
  • Patient perceptions of quality of care.

Data Sources

Primary data sources.

  • Primary data analysis in which the same individual or team of researchers designs, collects, and analyzes the data, for the purpose of answering a research question (Koziol & Arthur, nd).

Advantages to Using Primary Data

  • You collect exactly the data elements that you need to answer your research question (Romano).
  • You can test an intervention, such as an experimental drug or an educational program, in the purest way (a double-blind randomized controlled trial (Romano).
  • You control the data collection process, so you can ensure data quality, minimize the number of missing values, and assess the reliability of your instruments (Romano).

Secondary Data Sources

  • Existing data collected for another purposes, that you use to answer your research question (Romano).

Advantages of Working with Secondary Data

  • Large samples
  • Can provide population estimates : for example state data can be combined across states to get national estimates (Shaheen, Pan, & Mukherjee).
  • Less expensive to collect than primary data (Romano)
  • It takes less time to collect secondary data (Romano).
  • You may not need to worry about informed consent, human subjects restriction (Romano).

Issues in Using Secondary Data

  • Study design and data collection already completed (Koziol & Arthur, nd).
  • Data may not facilitate particular research question o Information regarding study design and data collection procedures may be scarce.
  • Data may potentially lack depth (the greater the breadth the harder it is to measure any one construct in depth) (Koziol & Arthur, nd).
  • Certain fields or departments (e.g., experimental programs) may place less value on secondary data analysis (Koziol & Arthur, nd).
  • Often requires special techniques to analyze statistically the data.
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Home » 500+ Quantitative Research Titles and Topics

500+ Quantitative Research Titles and Topics

Table of Contents

Quantitative Research Topics

Quantitative research involves collecting and analyzing numerical data to identify patterns, trends, and relationships among variables. This method is widely used in social sciences, psychology , economics , and other fields where researchers aim to understand human behavior and phenomena through statistical analysis. If you are looking for a quantitative research topic, there are numerous areas to explore, from analyzing data on a specific population to studying the effects of a particular intervention or treatment. In this post, we will provide some ideas for quantitative research topics that may inspire you and help you narrow down your interests.

Quantitative Research Titles

Quantitative Research Titles are as follows:

Business and Economics

  • “Statistical Analysis of Supply Chain Disruptions on Retail Sales”
  • “Quantitative Examination of Consumer Loyalty Programs in the Fast Food Industry”
  • “Predicting Stock Market Trends Using Machine Learning Algorithms”
  • “Influence of Workplace Environment on Employee Productivity: A Quantitative Study”
  • “Impact of Economic Policies on Small Businesses: A Regression Analysis”
  • “Customer Satisfaction and Profit Margins: A Quantitative Correlation Study”
  • “Analyzing the Role of Marketing in Brand Recognition: A Statistical Overview”
  • “Quantitative Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility on Consumer Trust”
  • “Price Elasticity of Demand for Luxury Goods: A Case Study”
  • “The Relationship Between Fiscal Policy and Inflation Rates: A Time-Series Analysis”
  • “Factors Influencing E-commerce Conversion Rates: A Quantitative Exploration”
  • “Examining the Correlation Between Interest Rates and Consumer Spending”
  • “Standardized Testing and Academic Performance: A Quantitative Evaluation”
  • “Teaching Strategies and Student Learning Outcomes in Secondary Schools: A Quantitative Study”
  • “The Relationship Between Extracurricular Activities and Academic Success”
  • “Influence of Parental Involvement on Children’s Educational Achievements”
  • “Digital Literacy in Primary Schools: A Quantitative Assessment”
  • “Learning Outcomes in Blended vs. Traditional Classrooms: A Comparative Analysis”
  • “Correlation Between Teacher Experience and Student Success Rates”
  • “Analyzing the Impact of Classroom Technology on Reading Comprehension”
  • “Gender Differences in STEM Fields: A Quantitative Analysis of Enrollment Data”
  • “The Relationship Between Homework Load and Academic Burnout”
  • “Assessment of Special Education Programs in Public Schools”
  • “Role of Peer Tutoring in Improving Academic Performance: A Quantitative Study”

Medicine and Health Sciences

  • “The Impact of Sleep Duration on Cardiovascular Health: A Cross-sectional Study”
  • “Analyzing the Efficacy of Various Antidepressants: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Patient Satisfaction in Telehealth Services: A Quantitative Assessment”
  • “Dietary Habits and Incidence of Heart Disease: A Quantitative Review”
  • “Correlations Between Stress Levels and Immune System Functioning”
  • “Smoking and Lung Function: A Quantitative Analysis”
  • “Influence of Physical Activity on Mental Health in Older Adults”
  • “Antibiotic Resistance Patterns in Community Hospitals: A Quantitative Study”
  • “The Efficacy of Vaccination Programs in Controlling Disease Spread: A Time-Series Analysis”
  • “Role of Social Determinants in Health Outcomes: A Quantitative Exploration”
  • “Impact of Hospital Design on Patient Recovery Rates”
  • “Quantitative Analysis of Dietary Choices and Obesity Rates in Children”

Social Sciences

  • “Examining Social Inequality through Wage Distribution: A Quantitative Study”
  • “Impact of Parental Divorce on Child Development: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Social Media and its Effect on Political Polarization: A Quantitative Analysis”
  • “The Relationship Between Religion and Social Attitudes: A Statistical Overview”
  • “Influence of Socioeconomic Status on Educational Achievement”
  • “Quantifying the Effects of Community Programs on Crime Reduction”
  • “Public Opinion and Immigration Policies: A Quantitative Exploration”
  • “Analyzing the Gender Representation in Political Offices: A Quantitative Study”
  • “Impact of Mass Media on Public Opinion: A Regression Analysis”
  • “Influence of Urban Design on Social Interactions in Communities”
  • “The Role of Social Support in Mental Health Outcomes: A Quantitative Analysis”
  • “Examining the Relationship Between Substance Abuse and Employment Status”

Engineering and Technology

  • “Performance Evaluation of Different Machine Learning Algorithms in Autonomous Vehicles”
  • “Material Science: A Quantitative Analysis of Stress-Strain Properties in Various Alloys”
  • “Impacts of Data Center Cooling Solutions on Energy Consumption”
  • “Analyzing the Reliability of Renewable Energy Sources in Grid Management”
  • “Optimization of 5G Network Performance: A Quantitative Assessment”
  • “Quantifying the Effects of Aerodynamics on Fuel Efficiency in Commercial Airplanes”
  • “The Relationship Between Software Complexity and Bug Frequency”
  • “Machine Learning in Predictive Maintenance: A Quantitative Analysis”
  • “Wearable Technologies and their Impact on Healthcare Monitoring”
  • “Quantitative Assessment of Cybersecurity Measures in Financial Institutions”
  • “Analysis of Noise Pollution from Urban Transportation Systems”
  • “The Influence of Architectural Design on Energy Efficiency in Buildings”

Quantitative Research Topics

Quantitative Research Topics are as follows:

  • The effects of social media on self-esteem among teenagers.
  • A comparative study of academic achievement among students of single-sex and co-educational schools.
  • The impact of gender on leadership styles in the workplace.
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic performance of students.
  • The effect of mindfulness meditation on stress levels in college students.
  • The relationship between employee motivation and job satisfaction.
  • The effectiveness of online learning compared to traditional classroom learning.
  • The correlation between sleep duration and academic performance among college students.
  • The impact of exercise on mental health among adults.
  • The relationship between social support and psychological well-being among cancer patients.
  • The effect of caffeine consumption on sleep quality.
  • A comparative study of the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy in treating depression.
  • The relationship between physical attractiveness and job opportunities.
  • The correlation between smartphone addiction and academic performance among high school students.
  • The impact of music on memory recall among adults.
  • The effectiveness of parental control software in limiting children’s online activity.
  • The relationship between social media use and body image dissatisfaction among young adults.
  • The correlation between academic achievement and parental involvement among minority students.
  • The impact of early childhood education on academic performance in later years.
  • The effectiveness of employee training and development programs in improving organizational performance.
  • The relationship between socioeconomic status and access to healthcare services.
  • The correlation between social support and academic achievement among college students.
  • The impact of technology on communication skills among children.
  • The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction programs in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • The relationship between employee turnover and organizational culture.
  • The correlation between job satisfaction and employee engagement.
  • The impact of video game violence on aggressive behavior among children.
  • The effectiveness of nutritional education in promoting healthy eating habits among adolescents.
  • The relationship between bullying and academic performance among middle school students.
  • The correlation between teacher expectations and student achievement.
  • The impact of gender stereotypes on career choices among high school students.
  • The effectiveness of anger management programs in reducing violent behavior.
  • The relationship between social support and recovery from substance abuse.
  • The correlation between parent-child communication and adolescent drug use.
  • The impact of technology on family relationships.
  • The effectiveness of smoking cessation programs in promoting long-term abstinence.
  • The relationship between personality traits and academic achievement.
  • The correlation between stress and job performance among healthcare professionals.
  • The impact of online privacy concerns on social media use.
  • The effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in treating anxiety disorders.
  • The relationship between teacher feedback and student motivation.
  • The correlation between physical activity and academic performance among elementary school students.
  • The impact of parental divorce on academic achievement among children.
  • The effectiveness of diversity training in improving workplace relationships.
  • The relationship between childhood trauma and adult mental health.
  • The correlation between parental involvement and substance abuse among adolescents.
  • The impact of social media use on romantic relationships among young adults.
  • The effectiveness of assertiveness training in improving communication skills.
  • The relationship between parental expectations and academic achievement among high school students.
  • The correlation between sleep quality and mood among adults.
  • The impact of video game addiction on academic performance among college students.
  • The effectiveness of group therapy in treating eating disorders.
  • The relationship between job stress and job performance among teachers.
  • The correlation between mindfulness and emotional regulation.
  • The impact of social media use on self-esteem among college students.
  • The effectiveness of parent-teacher communication in promoting academic achievement among elementary school students.
  • The impact of renewable energy policies on carbon emissions
  • The relationship between employee motivation and job performance
  • The effectiveness of psychotherapy in treating eating disorders
  • The correlation between physical activity and cognitive function in older adults
  • The effect of childhood poverty on adult health outcomes
  • The impact of urbanization on biodiversity conservation
  • The relationship between work-life balance and employee job satisfaction
  • The effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in treating trauma
  • The correlation between parenting styles and child behavior
  • The effect of social media on political polarization
  • The impact of foreign aid on economic development
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and organizational performance
  • The effectiveness of dialectical behavior therapy in treating borderline personality disorder
  • The correlation between childhood abuse and adult mental health outcomes
  • The effect of sleep deprivation on cognitive function
  • The impact of trade policies on international trade and economic growth
  • The relationship between employee engagement and organizational commitment
  • The effectiveness of cognitive therapy in treating postpartum depression
  • The correlation between family meals and child obesity rates
  • The effect of parental involvement in sports on child athletic performance
  • The impact of social entrepreneurship on sustainable development
  • The relationship between emotional labor and job burnout
  • The effectiveness of art therapy in treating dementia
  • The correlation between social media use and academic procrastination
  • The effect of poverty on childhood educational attainment
  • The impact of urban green spaces on mental health
  • The relationship between job insecurity and employee well-being
  • The effectiveness of virtual reality exposure therapy in treating anxiety disorders
  • The correlation between childhood trauma and substance abuse
  • The effect of screen time on children’s social skills
  • The impact of trade unions on employee job satisfaction
  • The relationship between cultural intelligence and cross-cultural communication
  • The effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy in treating chronic pain
  • The correlation between childhood obesity and adult health outcomes
  • The effect of gender diversity on corporate performance
  • The impact of environmental regulations on industry competitiveness.
  • The impact of renewable energy policies on greenhouse gas emissions
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and team performance
  • The effectiveness of group therapy in treating substance abuse
  • The correlation between parental involvement and social skills in early childhood
  • The effect of technology use on sleep patterns
  • The impact of government regulations on small business growth
  • The relationship between job satisfaction and employee turnover
  • The effectiveness of virtual reality therapy in treating anxiety disorders
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic motivation in adolescents
  • The effect of social media on political engagement
  • The impact of urbanization on mental health
  • The relationship between corporate social responsibility and consumer trust
  • The correlation between early childhood education and social-emotional development
  • The effect of screen time on cognitive development in young children
  • The impact of trade policies on global economic growth
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and innovation
  • The effectiveness of family therapy in treating eating disorders
  • The correlation between parental involvement and college persistence
  • The effect of social media on body image and self-esteem
  • The impact of environmental regulations on business competitiveness
  • The relationship between job autonomy and job satisfaction
  • The effectiveness of virtual reality therapy in treating phobias
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic achievement in college
  • The effect of social media on sleep quality
  • The impact of immigration policies on social integration
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and employee well-being
  • The effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy in treating personality disorders
  • The correlation between early childhood education and executive function skills
  • The effect of parental involvement on STEM education outcomes
  • The impact of trade policies on domestic employment rates
  • The relationship between job insecurity and mental health
  • The effectiveness of exposure therapy in treating PTSD
  • The correlation between parental involvement and social mobility
  • The effect of social media on intergroup relations
  • The impact of urbanization on air pollution and respiratory health.
  • The relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness
  • The effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in treating depression
  • The correlation between early childhood education and language development
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in STEM fields
  • The impact of trade policies on income inequality
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and customer satisfaction
  • The effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy in treating anxiety disorders
  • The correlation between parental involvement and civic engagement in adolescents
  • The effect of social media on mental health among teenagers
  • The impact of public transportation policies on traffic congestion
  • The relationship between job stress and job performance
  • The effectiveness of group therapy in treating depression
  • The correlation between early childhood education and cognitive development
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic motivation in college
  • The impact of environmental regulations on energy consumption
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and employee engagement
  • The effectiveness of art therapy in treating PTSD
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in vocational education
  • The effect of social media on academic achievement in college
  • The impact of tax policies on economic growth
  • The relationship between job flexibility and work-life balance
  • The effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy in treating anxiety disorders
  • The correlation between early childhood education and social competence
  • The effect of parental involvement on career readiness in high school
  • The impact of immigration policies on crime rates
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and employee retention
  • The effectiveness of play therapy in treating trauma
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in online learning
  • The effect of social media on body dissatisfaction among women
  • The impact of urbanization on public health infrastructure
  • The relationship between job satisfaction and job performance
  • The effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy in treating PTSD
  • The correlation between early childhood education and social skills in adolescence
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in the arts
  • The impact of trade policies on foreign investment
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and decision-making
  • The effectiveness of exposure and response prevention therapy in treating OCD
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in special education
  • The impact of zoning laws on affordable housing
  • The relationship between job design and employee motivation
  • The effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation therapy in treating traumatic brain injury
  • The correlation between early childhood education and social-emotional learning
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in foreign language learning
  • The impact of trade policies on the environment
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and creativity
  • The effectiveness of emotion-focused therapy in treating relationship problems
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in music education
  • The effect of social media on interpersonal communication skills
  • The impact of public health campaigns on health behaviors
  • The relationship between job resources and job stress
  • The effectiveness of equine therapy in treating substance abuse
  • The correlation between early childhood education and self-regulation
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in physical education
  • The impact of immigration policies on cultural assimilation
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and conflict resolution
  • The effectiveness of schema therapy in treating personality disorders
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in career and technical education
  • The effect of social media on trust in government institutions
  • The impact of urbanization on public transportation systems
  • The relationship between job demands and job stress
  • The correlation between early childhood education and executive functioning
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in computer science
  • The effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy in treating PTSD
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in homeschooling
  • The effect of social media on cyberbullying behavior
  • The impact of urbanization on air quality
  • The effectiveness of dance therapy in treating anxiety disorders
  • The correlation between early childhood education and math achievement
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in health education
  • The impact of global warming on agriculture
  • The effectiveness of narrative therapy in treating depression
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in character education
  • The effect of social media on political participation
  • The impact of technology on job displacement
  • The relationship between job resources and job satisfaction
  • The effectiveness of art therapy in treating addiction
  • The correlation between early childhood education and reading comprehension
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in environmental education
  • The impact of income inequality on social mobility
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and organizational culture
  • The effectiveness of solution-focused brief therapy in treating anxiety disorders
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in physical therapy education
  • The effect of social media on misinformation
  • The impact of green energy policies on economic growth
  • The relationship between job demands and employee well-being
  • The correlation between early childhood education and science achievement
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in religious education
  • The impact of gender diversity on corporate governance
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and ethical decision-making
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in dental hygiene education
  • The effect of social media on self-esteem among adolescents
  • The impact of renewable energy policies on energy security
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in social studies
  • The impact of trade policies on job growth
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and leadership styles
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in online vocational training
  • The effect of social media on self-esteem among men
  • The impact of urbanization on air pollution levels
  • The effectiveness of music therapy in treating depression
  • The correlation between early childhood education and math skills
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in language arts
  • The impact of immigration policies on labor market outcomes
  • The effectiveness of hypnotherapy in treating phobias
  • The effect of social media on political engagement among young adults
  • The impact of urbanization on access to green spaces
  • The relationship between job crafting and job satisfaction
  • The effectiveness of exposure therapy in treating specific phobias
  • The correlation between early childhood education and spatial reasoning
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in business education
  • The impact of trade policies on economic inequality
  • The effectiveness of narrative therapy in treating PTSD
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in nursing education
  • The effect of social media on sleep quality among adolescents
  • The impact of urbanization on crime rates
  • The relationship between job insecurity and turnover intentions
  • The effectiveness of pet therapy in treating anxiety disorders
  • The correlation between early childhood education and STEM skills
  • The effect of parental involvement on academic achievement in culinary education
  • The impact of immigration policies on housing affordability
  • The relationship between workplace diversity and employee satisfaction
  • The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction in treating chronic pain
  • The correlation between parental involvement and academic success in art education
  • The effect of social media on academic procrastination among college students
  • The impact of urbanization on public safety services.

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150 Qualitative and Quantitative Nursing Research Topics for Students

Mark Taylor

Do not be lazy to spend some time researching and brainstorming. You can either lookup for the popular nursing research topics on social media networks or news or ask a professional writer online to take care of your assignment. What you should not do for sure is refuse to complete any of your course projects. You need every single task to be done if you wish to earn the highest score by the end of a semester.

In this article, we will share 150 excellent nursing research topics with you. Choose one of them or come up with your own idea based on our tips, and you’ll succeed for sure!

Table of Contents

Selecting the Top Ideas for Your Essays in Healthcare & Medicine

Would you like to learn how to pick research paper topics for nursing students? We will share some tips before offering lists of ideas.

Start with the preliminary research. You can get inspired on various websites offering ideas for students as well as academic help. Gather with your classmates and brainstorm by putting down different themes that you can cover. You should take your interests into consideration, but still, remember that ideas must relate to your lessons recently covered in class. You have to highlight keywords and main phrases to use in your text.

Before deciding on one of the numerous nursing school research topics, you should consult your tutor. Make sure that he or she approves the idea. Start writing only after that.

50 Popular Nursing Research Topics

Are you here to find the most popular research topics? They change with each new year as the innovations and technologies move on. We have collected the top discussed themes in healthcare for you.

  • Problems Encountered by the Spouses of the Patients with Dyslexia
  • Ethics in Geriatrics
  • Checklist for the Delivery Room Behavior
  • Parkinson Disease: Causes and Development
  • Exercises Used to Improve Mental Health
  • Effective Tips for Antenatal Treatment
  • Syndrome of the Restless Legs: How to Treat It
  • Behavior Assessment in Pediatric Primary Care
  • Why Can Mother’s Health Be under the Threat During the Child Birth?
  • Recommendations for Creating Strong Nursing Communities
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Proper Treatment
  • Pre-Term Labor Threats
  • Music Therapy and Lactation
  • Influence of Ageism on Mental Health
  • Newborn Resuscitation Practices
  • Effective Therapy for Bladder Cancer
  • Approaches to Improving Emotional Health of Nurses
  • Skin-to-skin Contact by mothers and Its Consequences
  • Does a Nurse Have a Right to Prescribe Drugs?
  • Research on Atrial Fibrillation
  • Pros & Cons of Water Birth
  • Prevention Measures for Those Who Have to Contact Infectious Diseases
  • Stroke Disease and Ways to Cure It
  • The Role of Governmental Policies on the Hiring of Healthcare Professionals
  • Demands for the Critical Care
  • Joint Issue Research in Elderly Population
  • Why Should Nurses and Healthcare Workers Cooperate?
  • The Role of Good Leadership Skills in Nursing Profession
  • How to Minimize the Threat of Cardiovascular Problems
  • What Should a Nurse Do When an Elderly Refuses to Eat?
  • Main Reasons for the Depression to Occur
  • Methods Used to Detect an Abused Elderly Patient
  • Treatment and Prevention of Acne and Other Skin Problems
  • Consequences of the So-Called “Cold Therapy”
  • End-of-Life Care Interventions That Work
  • Risk factors for Osteoporosis in Female Population
  • Alcohol Addiction and How to Get Rid of It
  • Emerging Ethical Problems in Pain Management
  • Psychiatric Patient Ethics
  • How to Teach Female Population about Menopause Management
  • Reasons for Aged Patients to Use Alcohol in Nursing Homes
  • Family Engagement in Primary Healthcare
  • Do the Race and Gender of a Patient Play a Role in Pain Management?
  • PTSD in the Veterans of the United States Army
  • How to Prepare a Nurse for Primary Healthcare
  • The Correlation between Teen Aggression and Video Games
  • Outcomes of Abdominal Massage in Critically Sick Population
  • Developing an Effective Weight Loss Program: Case Study
  • Comparing and Contrasting Public Health Nursing Models in Various Regions
  • Mirror Therapy for Stroke Patients Who Are Partially Paralyzed

50 Interesting Nursing Research Topics

Do you wish to impress the target audience? Are you looking for the most interesting nursing research topics? It is important to consider time and recently covered themes. People tend to consider a topic an interesting one only if it is relevant. We have prepared the list of curious ideas for your project.

  • Reasons for Hypertensive Diseases
  • Self-Care Management and Sickle Cell Grown-Up Patients
  • Schizophrenia Symptoms, Treatment, and Diagnostics
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome Care
  • Getting Ready with Caesarean Section
  • What Are Some of the Cold and Cough Medicines?
  • Why Do Patients Suffer from Anxiety Disorders?
  • Use of the Forbidden Substances in Medicine
  • How to Make Wise and Safe Medical Decisions
  • CV Imaging Procedure
  • Complementary vs. Alternative Therapy
  • Can Some Types of Grains Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases?
  • Restrictions of Medical Contracts
  • How to Cope with High Levels of Stress
  • Legal Threats with Non-English Patients
  • The Basics of Palliative Care
  • Clinical Cardiology Innovations
  • How to Reduce Body Temperature in Household Conditions
  • What Causes Type II Diabetes?
  • Ways to Control Blood Pressure at Home
  • Dental/Oral Health in the US
  • Is There a Gender Bias in Nursing Profession?
  • Gyno Education for the Young Girls
  • Bipolar Disorder and Its Main Symptoms
  • Methods Used to Recover after Physical Traumas
  • The Principles of Sports Medicine
  • The Gap between Female and Male Healthcare Professionals
  • Increasing the Efficiency of Asthma Management in Educational Establishments
  • Different Roles of Clinical Nurses
  • Case Study: Successful Treatment of Migraine
  • In-depth Analysis of the Ovarian Disorder
  • Distant Intensive Treatment Until Questions
  • Proper Treatment of Sleep Disorders
  • How to Overcome Stressful Situations during Night Shifts
  • Effective Methods to Prevent Breast Cancer
  • Future of Healthcare & Medicine (Based on Modern Innovations)
  • Approaches to Treating Insomnia
  • Reproductive Endocrinology
  • Diversity in the Field of Medicine
  • Issues Associated with Menopause
  • Causes and Effects of the Vaginal Atrophy
  • Is Child’s Health Insurance a Right or a Privilege?
  • Best Practices for Nursing Practitioners
  • What Does the Phenomenon of Phantom Pains Stand for?
  • Ethical Aspects of Infertility
  • Protocol for Headache Treatment
  • Moral Aspects of Euthanasia
  • Treatment of Homeless People
  • Why Should Healthcare System Be Made Free Everywhere in the World?
  • Pain Restrictions Evaluation

50 Good Nursing Research Topics

Here is one more list of the nursing topics for research paper. We hope that at least one of these ideas will inspire you or give a clue.

  • Advantages of Pet Therapy in Kids with the Autism Disorder
  • Contemporary Approaches to Vaccinating Teenagers
  • eHealth: The Effectiveness of Telecare and eCare
  • Burn-Out in the Nursing Profession: Effective Ways to Handle Stress
  • Healing of Bone Injuries
  • Providing Spiritual Care: Does It Make Sense?
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Opioid Usage
  • Symptoms in ER That Cannot Be Explained by Medicine
  • Contemporary Neonatal Practices
  • Disorders with the Sexual Heath of an Average Woman
  • Typical Causes of Headache
  • Top Measures Used to Prevent Pregnancy
  • Strategies Used by Government to Finance Healthcare System
  • The Possible Consequences of Abortion for Women
  • Evaluation of Childbirth Efficacy
  • Quality Evaluation Techniques in Healthcare & Medicine
  • Maternal Practices in Urban Areas
  • Childcare Services Integration in Primary Medicine
  • Rules for Pregnant Women Who Suffer from Obesity
  • Mental Causes of Anorexia Nervosa
  • Self-Instruction Kits
  • Post-Natal Period Recommendations
  • Midwifery Continuous Treatment & Care
  • Case Study: Analyzing Positive Birth Experience
  • Issues Related to the Gestational Weight Gain
  • The Importance of Healthy Nutrition and Hydration
  • What Are the Obligations of Every Nurse in Any Situation?
  • Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of ADHD
  • Management of Disease and Prevention Methods
  • The Importance of Kid and Teen Vaccination
  • Termination of Pregnancy: Risks for Female Health
  • Obligations of Every Pharmacist
  • How to Prevent Child Obesity
  • How to Stick to the Safe Sex Culture
  • What Are the Main Symptoms of Autism?
  • Ethics of the Healthcare Sales Promotion Campaigns
  • Pros and Cons of Telemedicine
  • Ethics in Pediatric Care
  • Therapies Used to Treat Speech Disorders
  • Medical Uniform Code Principles
  • Psychological Sides of Infant Treatment
  • Reasons for Seizures to Happen in Young Adolescents
  • Healthcare Home Service and Self-Medicine
  • How to Deal with Various Types of Eating Disorders
  • Treatment of Patients in Prison
  • Patient Security and Human Factors
  • Bad Habits and Illnesses Impacted by Social Media and Pop Culture
  • Apology Legislation and Regulations
  • Antibiotic Resistance in Small Kids
  • Nursing Marijuana Management & Control

You should also know that there are qualitative and quantitative nursing research topics. If you decide to base your study on numbers and figures, you should think about the second category. In quantitative research papers, writers must provide statistical data and interpret it to defend a thesis statement or find a solution to the existing problem.

Keep in mind that you can always count on the help of our professional essay writers. They will come up with the good nursing research topics and even compose the whole paper for you if you want.

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100+ Quantitative Research Topics For Students

Quantitative Research Topics

Quantitative research is a research strategy focusing on quantified data collection and analysis processes. This research strategy emphasizes testing theories on various subjects. It also includes collecting and analyzing non-numerical data.

Quantitative research is a common approach in the natural and social sciences , like marketing, business, sociology, chemistry, biology, economics, and psychology. So, if you are fond of statistics and figures, a quantitative research title would be an excellent option for your research proposal or project.

How to Get a Title of Quantitative Research

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Finding a great title is the key to writing a great quantitative research proposal or paper. A title for quantitative research prepares you for success, failure, or mediocre grades. This post features examples of quantitative research titles for all students.

Putting together a research title and quantitative research design is not as easy as some students assume. So, an example topic of quantitative research can help you craft your own. However, even with the examples, you may need some guidelines for personalizing your research project or proposal topics.

So, here are some tips for getting a title for quantitative research:

  • Consider your area of studies
  • Look out for relevant subjects in the area
  • Expert advice may come in handy
  • Check out some sample quantitative research titles

Making a quantitative research title is easy if you know the qualities of a good title in quantitative research. Reading about how to make a quantitative research title may not help as much as looking at some samples. Looking at a quantitative research example title will give you an idea of where to start.

However, let’s look at some tips for how to make a quantitative research title:

  • The title should seem interesting to readers
  • Ensure that the title represents the content of the research paper
  • Reflect on the tone of the writing in the title
  • The title should contain important keywords in your chosen subject to help readers find your paper
  • The title should not be too lengthy
  • It should be grammatically correct and creative
  • It must generate curiosity

An excellent quantitative title should be clear, which implies that it should effectively explain the paper and what readers can expect. A research title for quantitative research is the gateway to your article or proposal. So, it should be well thought out. Additionally, it should give you room for extensive topic research.

A sample of quantitative research titles will give you an idea of what a good title for quantitative research looks like. Here are some examples:

  • What is the correlation between inflation rates and unemployment rates?
  • Has climate adaptation influenced the mitigation of funds allocation?
  • Job satisfaction and employee turnover: What is the link?
  • A look at the relationship between poor households and the development of entrepreneurship skills
  • Urbanization and economic growth: What is the link between these elements?
  • Does education achievement influence people’s economic status?
  • What is the impact of solar electricity on the wholesale energy market?
  • Debt accumulation and retirement: What is the relationship between these concepts?
  • Can people with psychiatric disorders develop independent living skills?
  • Children’s nutrition and its impact on cognitive development

Quantitative research applies to various subjects in the natural and social sciences. Therefore, depending on your intended subject, you have numerous options. Below are some good quantitative research topics for students:

  • The difference between the colorific intake of men and women in your country
  • Top strategies used to measure customer satisfaction and how they work
  • Black Friday sales: are they profitable?
  • The correlation between estimated target market and practical competitive risk assignment
  • Are smartphones making us brighter or dumber?
  • Nuclear families Vs. Joint families: Is there a difference?
  • What will society look like in the absence of organized religion?
  • A comparison between carbohydrate weight loss benefits and high carbohydrate diets?
  • How does emotional stability influence your overall well-being?
  • The extent of the impact of technology in the communications sector

Creativity is the key to creating a good research topic in quantitative research. Find a good quantitative research topic below:

  • How much exercise is good for lasting physical well-being?
  • A comparison of the nutritional therapy uses and contemporary medical approaches
  • Does sugar intake have a direct impact on diabetes diagnosis?
  • Education attainment: Does it influence crime rates in society?
  • Is there an actual link between obesity and cancer rates?
  • Do kids with siblings have better social skills than those without?
  • Computer games and their impact on the young generation
  • Has social media marketing taken over conventional marketing strategies?
  • The impact of technology development on human relationships and communication
  • What is the link between drug addiction and age?

Need more quantitative research title examples to inspire you? Here are some quantitative research title examples to look at:

  • Habitation fragmentation and biodiversity loss: What is the link?
  • Radiation has affected biodiversity: Assessing its effects
  • An assessment of the impact of the CORONA virus on global population growth
  • Is the pandemic truly over, or have human bodies built resistance against the virus?
  • The ozone hole and its impact on the environment
  • The greenhouse gas effect: What is it and how has it impacted the atmosphere
  • GMO crops: are they good or bad for your health?
  • Is there a direct link between education quality and job attainment?
  • How have education systems changed from traditional to modern times?
  • The good and bad impacts of technology on education qualities

Your examiner will give you excellent grades if you come up with a unique title and outstanding content. Here are some quantitative research examples titles.

  • Online classes: are they helpful or not?
  • What changes has the global CORONA pandemic had on the population growth curve?
  • Daily habits influenced by the global pandemic
  • An analysis of the impact of culture on people’s personalities
  • How has feminism influenced the education system’s approach to the girl child’s education?
  • Academic competition: what are its benefits and downsides for students?
  • Is there a link between education and student integrity?
  • An analysis of how the education sector can influence a country’s economy
  • An overview of the link between crime rates and concern for crime
  • Is there a link between education and obesity?

Research title example quantitative topics when well-thought guarantees a paper that is a good read. Look at the examples below to get started.

  • What are the impacts of online games on students?
  • Sex education in schools: how important is it?
  • Should schools be teaching about safe sex in their sex education classes?
  • The correlation between extreme parent interference on student academic performance
  • Is there a real link between academic marks and intelligence?
  • Teacher feedback: How necessary is it, and how does it help students?
  • An analysis of modern education systems and their impact on student performance
  • An overview of the link between academic performance/marks and intelligence
  • Are grading systems helpful or harmful to students?
  • What was the impact of the pandemic on students?

Irrespective of the course you take, here are some titles that can fit diverse subjects pretty well. Here are some creative quantitative research title ideas:

  • A look at the pre-corona and post-corona economy
  • How are conventional retail businesses fairing against eCommerce sites like Amazon and Shopify?
  • An evaluation of mortality rates of heart attacks
  • Effective treatments for cardiovascular issues and their prevention
  • A comparison of the effectiveness of home care and nursing home care
  • Strategies for managing effective dissemination of information to modern students
  • How does educational discrimination influence students’ futures?
  • The impacts of unfavorable classroom environment and bullying on students and teachers
  • An overview of the implementation of STEM education to K-12 students
  • How effective is digital learning?

If your paper addresses a problem, you must present facts that solve the question or tell more about the question. Here are examples of quantitative research titles that will inspire you.

  • An elaborate study of the influence of telemedicine in healthcare practices
  • How has scientific innovation influenced the defense or military system?
  • The link between technology and people’s mental health
  • Has social media helped create awareness or worsened people’s mental health?
  • How do engineers promote green technology?
  • How can engineers raise sustainability in building and structural infrastructures?
  • An analysis of how decision-making is dependent on someone’s sub-conscious
  • A comprehensive study of ADHD and its impact on students’ capabilities
  • The impact of racism on people’s mental health and overall wellbeing
  • How has the current surge in social activism helped shape people’s relationships?

Are you looking for an example of a quantitative research title? These ten examples below will get you started.

  • The prevalence of nonverbal communication in social control and people’s interactions
  • The impacts of stress on people’s behavior in society
  • A study of the connection between capital structures and corporate strategies
  • How do changes in credit ratings impact equality returns?
  • A quantitative analysis of the effect of bond rating changes on stock prices
  • The impact of semantics on web technology
  • An analysis of persuasion, propaganda, and marketing impact on individuals
  • The dominant-firm model: what is it, and how does it apply to your country’s retail sector?
  • The role of income inequality in economy growth
  • An examination of juvenile delinquents’ treatment in your country

Excellent Topics For Quantitative Research

Here are some titles for quantitative research you should consider:

  • Does studying mathematics help implement data safety for businesses
  • How are art-related subjects interdependent with mathematics?
  • How do eco-friendly practices in the hospitality industry influence tourism rates?
  • A deep insight into how people view eco-tourisms
  • Religion vs. hospitality: Details on their correlation
  • Has your country’s tourist sector revived after the pandemic?
  • How effective is non-verbal communication in conveying emotions?
  • Are there similarities between the English and French vocabulary?
  • How do politicians use persuasive language in political speeches?
  • The correlation between popular culture and translation

Here are some quantitative research titles examples for your consideration:

  • How do world leaders use language to change the emotional climate in their nations?
  • Extensive research on how linguistics cultivate political buzzwords
  • The impact of globalization on the global tourism sector
  • An analysis of the effects of the pandemic on the worldwide hospitality sector
  • The influence of social media platforms on people’s choice of tourism destinations
  • Educational tourism: What is it and what you should know about it
  • Why do college students experience math anxiety?
  • Is math anxiety a phenomenon?
  • A guide on effective ways to fight cultural bias in modern society
  • Creative ways to solve the overpopulation issue

An example of quantitative research topics for 12 th -grade students will come in handy if you want to score a good grade. Here are some of the best ones:

  • The link between global warming and climate change
  • What is the greenhouse gas impact on biodiversity and the atmosphere
  • Has the internet successfully influenced literacy rates in society
  • The value and downsides of competition for students
  • A comparison of the education system in first-world and third-world countries
  • The impact of alcohol addiction on the younger generation
  • How has social media influenced human relationships?
  • Has education helped boost feminism among men and women?
  • Are computers in classrooms beneficial or detrimental to students?
  • How has social media improved bullying rates among teenagers?

High school students can apply research titles on social issues  or other elements, depending on the subject. Let’s look at some quantitative topics for students:

  • What is the right age to introduce sex education for students
  • Can extreme punishment help reduce alcohol consumption among teenagers?
  • Should the government increase the age of sexual consent?
  • The link between globalization and the local economy collapses
  • How are global companies influencing local economies?

There are numerous possible quantitative research topics you can write about. Here are some great quantitative research topics examples:

  • The correlation between video games and crime rates
  • Do college studies impact future job satisfaction?
  • What can the education sector do to encourage more college enrollment?
  • The impact of education on self-esteem
  • The relationship between income and occupation

You can find inspiration for your research topic from trending affairs on social media or in the news. Such topics will make your research enticing. Find a trending topic for quantitative research example from the list below:

  • How the country’s economy is fairing after the pandemic
  • An analysis of the riots by women in Iran and what the women gain to achieve
  • Is the current US government living up to the voter’s expectations?
  • How is the war in Ukraine affecting the global economy?
  • Can social media riots affect political decisions?

A proposal is a paper you write proposing the subject you would like to cover for your research and the research techniques you will apply. If the proposal is approved, it turns to your research topic. Here are some quantitative titles you should consider for your research proposal:

  • Military support and economic development: What is the impact in developing nations?
  • How does gun ownership influence crime rates in developed countries?
  • How can the US government reduce gun violence without influencing people’s rights?
  • What is the link between school prestige and academic standards?
  • Is there a scientific link between abortion and the definition of viability?

You can never have too many sample titles. The samples allow you to find a unique title you’re your research or proposal. Find a sample quantitative research title here:

  • Does weight loss indicate good or poor health?
  • Should schools do away with grading systems?
  • The impact of culture on student interactions and personalities
  • How can parents successfully protect their kids from the dangers of the internet?
  • Is the US education system better or worse than Europe’s?

If you’re a business major, then you must choose a research title quantitative about business. Let’s look at some research title examples quantitative in business:

  • Creating shareholder value in business: How important is it?
  • The changes in credit ratings and their impact on equity returns
  • The importance of data privacy laws in business operations
  • How do businesses benefit from e-waste and carbon footprint reduction?
  • Organizational culture in business: what is its importance?

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Interesting, creative, unique, and easy quantitative research topics allow you to explain your paper and make research easy. Therefore, you should not take choosing a research paper or proposal topic lightly. With your topic ready, reach out to us today for excellent research paper writing services .

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  • Volume 25, Issue 2
  • Researching sensitive topics in healthcare
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  • Alexandra Pinto 1 ,
  • Alison Rodriguez 2 ,
  • Joanna Smith 1 , 2
  • 1 Health Care , University of Leeds, School of Healthcare , Leeds , UK
  • 2 Children’s Nursing , University of Leeds, School of Healthcare , Leeds , UK
  • Correspondence to Alexandra Pinto, Healthcare, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK; hcapp{at}

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Research about sensitive topics in healthcare is crucial because it is essential to give voice to the under-represented in research. 1 If research is not undertaken on sensitive topics or with marginalised populations, our evidence base will be limited, lack significant knowledge or understanding of the individuals and community groups we support, with the potential for some areas and systems of care/interventions to lack an evidence-based, be ineffective or not inclusive. In this article, we will consider examples of research that could be deemed as sensitive before outlining key considerations when undertaking research within sensitive topic areas.

Sensitive topics in healthcare

Sensitive topics often intersect with cultural taboos, for example:

Exploring experiences of receiving bad news, death and dying in a contemporary but death denying culture. 2

Involving children and young people in research where society deems by proxy consent and opinion for most areas of their lives, especially where the child is sick or disabled. 3

Involving people with mental decline—stigma of mental illness and compromised capacity. 4

Involving hard to reach populations—unveiling the political, illuminating issues of poverty and societal decline over advancement. 5

Offenders. 6

Sexuality or sex. 7

The research process

Research into sensitive topics has implications for individuals and the wider society, and can be controversial or distressing for not only the participants but also the researcher. Therefore, as with all studies, there must be an explicitly outlined research protocol and robust processes when considering researching sensitive topics. Consideration needs to be given to the design, sampling and participant recruitment, data collection and storage, data analysis and finally dissemination of the results. 8 Researchers need to be transparent not only when obtaining ethical approval but also with participants from the inception of the research. Participants need to feel comfortable to share their perspectives, therefore it is essential to understand the nuances of the topic and where possible engage with service providers and users to ensure the proposed research has meaning and value. It is important to understand the implications that talking openly about experiences may have for participants.

Patient and public involvement

It is good practice when researching sensitive topics to involve members of the public in order to understand any challenges or the issues that may arise from the group being researched and the use of their unique expertise when creating protocols and processes. The benefits of including PPI (Patient and Public Involvement) are:

Creating participant materials such as information sheets and consent forms that are clear and are written in appropriate language.

Ensuring research questions are developed in a way that is sensitive and relevant not only to meet the study aims but to the participants.

The research will have been developed with people that have experience of the topic under investigation.

Ensuring the research is developed and undertaken in a way that is sensitive and in a way that is sensitive and acceptable to the needs of participants. 9 10

It is important that involvement is not seen as tokenistic. Including users and ambassadors as co-researchers can also benefit many research endeavours. 9 10

Ethical considerations

In addition to outlining the expectations of both researcher and participant, along with ensuring anonymity and confidentiality of participants and the data, consideration needs to be given to:

The risk to the researcher such as lone working and emotional toll.

The risk to the participant such as the emotional/psychological impact of discussing a sensitive topic, for example, reliving a traumatic event.

Developing a rapport with participants to enable them to share their stories in a safe and sensitive environment.

Support for the researcher is essential, for example, by implementing in advance of the study research supervision with an independent councillor. Similarly, the researcher should be prepared to offer support to participants if they become emotional or upset during data collection, and referring to professional support/support services if appropriate. The researcher must develop a rapport with participants that is culturally and developmentally appropriate taking into account gender, socioeconomic, culture and religious contexts. Rapport and trust can be developed by moving from descriptive to more emotive topics as the data collection progresses. 11 Engaging with participants when discussing sensitive topics will require flexibility, offering breaks and giving opportunity for participants to take the required time to sharing their experiences, and being prepared to stop data collection if participants become distressed. Consider training courses, or drawing on experiences from being in other roles to improve interview techniques.

Location of study

Research must be conducted in a safe environment, with sensitivity and in an ethical manner; the researcher should have the relevant training and experience to undertake the research and ensure no harm comes to the participants involved. Minimising any detrimental impact to individuals or groups involves:

Identifying potential risks that may arise from the research.

Identifying how the risks can be either be best managed, removed or reduced.

Recognising ethical obligation to uphold respect for all individuals who participate in sensitive research.

Understanding if the research requires any special procedures to ensure that all the participants are protected against exploitation, discrimination or any undue harm.

Locations for the data collection can have an impact on the participant:

Asking participants to attend research labs may make them feel uncomfortable and are unlikely to provide a setting that is conducive to developing a therapeutic conversation. Consider alternatives, but ensure the participant is in a safe and secure environment, free from interruptions and not overheard by any third party at all times. Participants are more likely share their experiences if they have been made to feel comfortable and welcomed.

If possible, give participants the choice of venue—hard to reach populations may want to meet the researcher in a café and just be asked a few conversational questions.

Consider that if a child might want to draw and play as you sit alongside them and talk, or they might want you to join in play.

Participants’ well-being

Building a rapport with your participants is crucial when researching sensitive topics as they may well be divulging very sensitive and personal issues with you. Building a good rapport with your participants will allow them to feel comfortable and facilitate them to be an active participant. Before you start the session clarify the consent form to them, make sure they are fully aware that you are there to hear about their experiences and they do not need to answer any questions they do not wish to. For some participants they may find talking about their experiences can be cathartic, but for others the discussion could be difficult and you may have to end the session. If you do need to end the session, make sure you have planned how to do this without causing further distress. If you end the session too quickly, it could upset the participant further and may perceive their contribution is not valued.

Be prepared to be flexible particularly when following a topic guide and allow the conversation to flow, gently moving back to the focus of the study, if need be, as this will allow the participants time to process what they are telling you. Facilitate the participant to direct the conversation as this is their story to tell. Being comfortable with silence is a skill that requires developing.

A distress protocol should be created prior to the start of research as this will help guide you through the session. A distress protocol should outline the steps and measures to be taken if you perceive the participant is becoming distressed during the session. It should include forms of support, detail the participant cues that might indicate they need to stop, regroup or terminate the session. 12 If a participant becomes distressed, it is tempting to give them advice or try to help them in some way. As a researcher you should not give them advice, your role is to understand their experience. Consideration must also be given to participants who are incapacitated or young as their distress might mean that you need to bring in family support. You can guide the participants/family members to places where they could go to for help and information for support following the session. However, this is not possible for quantitative research so consideration must be given to the readability of the tools, appropriateness, description and the time expectations to complete a survey.

Researcher well-being

Consideration needs to be given to you as the researcher of sensitive topics. Listening to participant’s traumatic experiences could be distressful, especially if you are listening to a number of participants on the same topic. In addition to listening to traumatic experiences, the topic may resonate with you, for example, if you are researching death and dying and have recently had a death in your family. This could cause emotional upset that you may need to come to terms with.

It may be tempting to gather all your data in a very short period of time, but it would be beneficial to unwind and take time between each session. This will give you time to process your own emotions and responses to the topic. Peer support sessions, and/or keep a journal reflecting on your own feelings and reactions are essential to maintain emotional well-being. You need to acknowledge that some sessions are likely to be particularly difficult therefore taking breaks from data collection will enable you to process the information and enables you time to reflect on what you have heard and make sure that you are ready for the next session. 13

Researching sensitive topics is important as it gives a voice to many unheard groups and individuals. However, there needs to be detailed and robust protocols and processes in place to allow the participants to feel they can discuss openly their lived experience with you, in a safe and comfortable environment and with sensitivity and care from you, the researcher. Involvement in sensitive topic studies can engage the researcher in a learning process, can induce emotional responses not fully appreciated from the outset and can open new avenues of thinking to develop the evidence base.

Ethics statements

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Twitter @alexpinto50, @ARodriguez339, @josmith175

Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Competing interests None declared.

Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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  • v.56(1); 2023 Jan

Qualitative Research in Healthcare: Necessity and Characteristics

1 Department of Preventive Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea

2 Ulsan Metropolitan City Public Health Policy’s Institute, Ulsan, Korea

3 Department of Nursing, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea

Eun Young Choi

4 College of Nursing, Sungshin Women’s University, Seoul, Korea

Seung Gyeong Jang

5 Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Quantitative and qualitative research explore various social phenomena using different methods. However, there has been a tendency to treat quantitative studies using complicated statistical techniques as more scientific and superior, whereas relatively few qualitative studies have been conducted in the medical and healthcare fields. This review aimed to provide a proper understanding of qualitative research. This review examined the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research to help researchers select the appropriate qualitative research methodology. Qualitative research is applicable in following cases: (1) when an exploratory approach is required on a topic that is not well known, (2) when something cannot be explained fully with quantitative research, (3) when it is necessary to newly present a specific view on a research topic that is difficult to explain with existing views, (4) when it is inappropriate to present the rationale or theoretical proposition for designing hypotheses, as in quantitative research, and (5) when conducting research that requires detailed descriptive writing with literary expressions. Qualitative research is conducted in the following order: (1) selection of a research topic and question, (2) selection of a theoretical framework and methods, (3) literature analysis, (4) selection of the research participants and data collection methods, (5) data analysis and description of findings, and (6) research validation. This review can contribute to the more active use of qualitative research in healthcare, and the findings are expected to instill a proper understanding of qualitative research in researchers who review qualitative research reports and papers.

Graphical abstract

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Object name is jpmph-22-451f2.jpg


The definition of research varies among studies and scholars, and it is difficult to devise a single definition. The Oxford English Dictionary defines research as “a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it” [ 1 ], while Webster’s Dictionary defines research as “studious inquiry or examination - especially: investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws” [ 2 ]. Moreover, research is broadly defined as the process of solving unsolved problems to broaden human knowledge [ 3 ]. A more thorough understanding of research can be gained by examining its types and reasons for conducting it.

The reasons for conducting research may include practical goals, such as degree attainment, job promotion, and financial profit. Research may be based on one’s own academic curiosity or aspiration or guided by professors or other supervisors. Academic research aims can be further divided into the following: (1) accurately describing an object or phenomenon, (2) identifying general laws and establishing well-designed theories for understanding and explaining a certain phenomenon, (3) predicting future events based on laws and theories, and (4) manipulating causes and conditions to induce or prevent a phenomenon [ 3 ].

The appropriate type of research must be selected based on the purpose and topic. Basic research has the primary purpose of expanding the existing knowledge base through new discoveries, while applied research aims to solve a real problem. Descriptive research attempts to factually present comparisons and interpretations of findings based on analyses of the characteristics, progression, or relationships of a certain phenomenon by manipulating the variables or controlling the conditions. Experimental or analytical research attempts to identify causal relationships between variables through experiments by arbitrarily manipulating the variables or controlling the conditions [ 3 ]. In addition, research can be quantitative or qualitative, depending on the data collection and analytical methods. Quantitative research relies on statistical analyses of quantitative data obtained primarily through investigation and experiment, while qualitative research uses specific methodologies to analyze qualitative data obtained through participant observations and in-depth interviews. However, as these types of research are not polar opposites and the criteria for classifying research types are unclear, there is some degree of methodological overlap.

What is more important than differentiating types of research is identifying the appropriate type of research to gain a better understanding of specific questions and improve problems encountered by people in life. An appropriate research type or methodology is essential to apply findings reliably. However, quantitative research based on the philosophical ideas of empiricism and positivism has been the mainstay in the field of healthcare, with academic advancement achieved through the application of various statistical techniques to quantitative data [ 4 ]. In particular, there has been a tendency to treat complicated statistical techniques as more scientific and superior, with few qualitative studies in not only clinical medicine, but also primary care and social medicine, which are relatively strongly influenced by the social sciences [ 5 , 6 ].

Quantitative and qualitative research use different ways of exploring various social phenomena. Both research methodologies can be applied individually or in combination based on the research topic, with mixed quantitative and qualitative research methodologies becoming more widespread in recent years [ 7 ]. Applying these 2 methods through a virtuous cycle of integration from a complementary perspective can provide a more accurate understanding of human phenomena and solutions to real-world problems.

This review aimed to provide a proper understanding of qualitative research to assist researchers in selecting the appropriate research methodology. Specifically, this review examined the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research, the applicability of qualitative research, and the data sources collected and analyzed in qualitative research.


A clearer understanding of qualitative research can be obtained by comparing qualitative and quantitative research, with which people are generally familiar [ 8 , 9 ]. Quantitative research focuses on testing the validity of hypotheses established by the researcher to identify the causal relationships of a specific phenomenon and discovering laws to predict that phenomenon ( Table 1 ). Therefore, it emphasizes controlling the influence of variables that may interfere with the process of identifying causality and laws. In contrast, qualitative research aims to discover and explore new hypotheses or theories based on a deep understanding of the meaning of a specific phenomenon. As such, qualitative research attempts to accept various environmental factors naturally. In quantitative research, importance is placed on the researcher acting as an outsider to take an objective view by keeping a certain distance from the research subject. In contrast, qualitative research encourages looking inside the research subjects to understand them deeply, while also emphasizing the need for researchers to take an intersubjective view that is formed and shared based on a mutual understanding with the research subjects.

Comparison of methodological characteristics between quantitative research and qualitative research

The data used in quantitative research can be expressed as numerical values, and data accumulated through questionnaire surveys and tests are often used in analyses. In contrast, qualitative research uses narrative data with words and images collected through participant observations, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions used in the analyses. Quantitative research data are measured repeatedly to enhance their reliability, while the analyses of such data focus on superficial aspects of the phenomenon of interest. Qualitative research instead focuses on obtaining deep and rich data and aims to identify the specific contents, dynamics, and processes inherent within the phenomenon and situation.

There are clear distinctions in the advantages, disadvantages, and goals of quantitative and qualitative research. On one hand, quantitative research has the advantages of reliability and generalizability of the findings, and advances in data collection and analysis methods have increased reliability and generalizability. However, quantitative research presents difficulties with an in-depth analysis of dynamic phenomena that cannot be expressed by numbers alone and interpreting the results analyzed in terms numbers. On the other hand, qualitative research has the advantage of validity, which refers to how accurately or appropriately a phenomenon was measured. However, qualitative research also has the disadvantage of weak generalizability, which determines whether an observed phenomenon applies to other cases.


Qualitative research cannot be the solution to all problems. A specific methodology should not be applied to all situations. Therefore, researchers need to have a good understanding of the applicability of qualitative research. Generally, qualitative research is applicable in following cases: (1) when an exploratory approach is required on a topic that is not well known, (2) when something cannot be explained fully with quantitative research, (3) when it is necessary to newly present a specific view on a research topic that is difficult to explain with existing views, (4) when it is inappropriate to present the rationale or theoretical proposition for designing hypotheses, as in quantitative research, and (5) when conducting research that requires detailed descriptive writing with literary expressions [ 7 ]. In particular, qualitative research is useful for opening new fields of research, such as important topics that have not been previously examined or whose significance has not been recognized. Moreover, qualitative research is advantageous for examining known topics from a fresh perspective.

In the healthcare field, qualitative research is conducted on various topics considering its characteristics and strengths. Quantitative research, which focuses on hypothesis validation, such as the superiority of specific treatments or the effectiveness of specific policies, and the generalization of findings, has been the primary research methodology in the field of healthcare. Qualitative research has been mostly applied for studies such as subjective disease experiences and attitudes with respect to health-related patient quality of life [ 10 - 12 ], experiences and perceptions regarding the use of healthcare services [ 13 - 15 ], and assessments of the quality of care [ 16 , 17 ]. Moreover, qualitative research has focused on vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, children, disabled [ 18 - 20 ], minorities, and socially underprivileged with specific experiences [ 21 , 22 ].

For instance, patient safety is considered a pillar of quality of care, which is an aspect of healthcare with increasing international interest. The ultimate goal of patient safety research should be the improvement of patient safety, for which it is necessary to identify the root causes of potential errors and adverse events. In such cases, qualitative rather than quantitative research is often required. It is also important to identify whether there are any barriers when applying measures for enhancing patient safety to clinical practice. To identify such barriers, qualitative research is necessary to observe healthcare workers directly applying the solutions step-by-step during each process, determine whether there are difficulties in applying the solutions to relevant stakeholders, and ask how to improve the process if there are difficulties.

Patient safety is a very broad topic, and patient safety issues could be categorized into preventing, recognizing, and responding to patient safety issues based on related metrics [ 23 ]. Responding to issues that pertain to the handling of patient safety incidents that have already occurred has received relatively less interest than other categories of research on this topic, particularly in Korea. Until 2017, almost no research was conducted on the experiences of and difficulties faced by patients and healthcare workers who have been involved in patient safety incidents. This topic can be investigated using qualitative research.

A study in Korea investigated the physical and mental suffering experienced during the process of accepting disability and medical litigation by a patient who became disabled due to medical malpractice [ 21 ]. Another qualitative case study was conducted with participants who lost a family member due to a medical accident and identified psychological suffering due to the incident, as well as secondary psychological suffering during the medical litigation process, which increased the expandability of qualitative research findings [ 24 ]. A quantitative study based on these findings confirmed that people who experienced patient safety incidents had negative responses after the incidents and a high likelihood of sleep or eating disorders, depending on their responses [ 25 ].

A study that applied the grounded theory to examine the second victim phenomenon, referring to healthcare workers who have experienced patient safety incidents, and presented the response stages experienced by second victims demonstrated the strength of qualitative research [ 26 ]. Subsequently, other studies used questionnaire surveys on physicians and nurses to quantify the physical, mental, and work-related difficulties experienced by second victims [ 27 , 28 ]. As such, qualitative research alone can produce significant findings; however, combining quantitative and qualitative research produces a synergistic effect. In the healthcare field, which remains unfamiliar with qualitative research, combining these 2 methodologies could both enhance the validity of research findings and facilitate open discussions with other researchers [ 29 ].

In addition, qualitative research has been used for diverse sub-topics, including the experiences of patients and guardians with respect to various diseases (such as cancer, myocardial infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, falls, and dementia), awareness of treatment for diabetes and hypertension, the experiences of physicians and nurses when they come in contact with medical staff, awareness of community health environments, experiences of medical service utilization by the general public in medically vulnerable areas, the general public’s awareness of vaccination policies, the health issues of people with special types of employment (such as delivery and call center workers), and the unmet healthcare needs of persons with vision or hearing impairment.


Rather than focusing on deriving objective information, qualitative research aims to discern the quality of a specific phenomenon, obtaining answers to “why” and “how” questions. Qualitative research aims to collect data multi-dimensionally and provide in-depth explanations of the phenomenon being researched. Ultimately, the purpose of qualitative research is set to help researchers gain an understanding of the research topic and reveal the implications of the research findings. Therefore, qualitative research is generally conducted in the following order: (1) selection of a research topic and question, (2) selection of a theoretical framework and methods, (3) literature analysis, (4) selection of the research participants (or participation target) and data collection methods, (5) data analysis and description of findings, and (6) research validation ( Figure 1 ) [ 30 ]. However, unlike quantitative research, in which hypothesis setting and testing take place unidirectionally, a major characteristic of qualitative research is that the process is reversible and research methods can be modified. In other words, the research topic and question could change during the literature analysis process, and theoretical and analytical methods could change during the data collection process.

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General workflow of qualitative research.

Selection of a Research Topic and Question

As with any research, the first step in qualitative research is the selection of a research topic and question. Qualitative researchers can select a research topic based on their interests from daily life as a researcher, their interests in issues within the healthcare field, and ideas from the literature, such as academic journals. The research question represents a more specific aspect of the research topic. Before specifically starting to conduct research based on a research topic, the researcher should clarify what is being researched and determine what research would be desirable. When selecting a research topic and question, the research should ask: is the research executable, are the research topic and question worth researching, and is this a research question that a researcher would want to research?

Selection of Theoretical Framework and Methods

A theoretical framework refers to the thoughts or attitudes that a researcher has about the phenomenon being researched. Selecting the theoretical framework first could help qualitative researchers not only in selecting the research purpose and problem, but also in carrying out various processes, including an exploration of the precedent literature and research, selection of the data type to be collected, data analysis, and description of findings. In qualitative research, theoretical frameworks are based on philosophical ideas, which affect the selection of specific qualitative research methods. Representative qualitative research methods include the grounded theory, which is suitable for achieving the goal of developing a theory that can explain the processes involved in the phenomenon being researched; ethnographic study, which is suitable for research topics that attempt to identify and interpret the culture of a specific group; phenomenology, which is suitable for research topics that attempt to identify the nature of research participants’ experiences or the phenomenon being researched; case studies, which aim to gain an in-depth understanding of a case that has unique characteristics and can be differentiated from other cases; action research, which aims to find solutions to problems faced by research participants, with the researchers taking the same position as the participants; and narrative research, which is suitable for research topics that attempt to interpret the entire life or individual experiences contained within the stories of research participants. Other methodologies include photovoice research, consensual qualitative research, and auto-ethnographic research.

Literature Analysis

Literature analysis results can be helpful in specifically selecting the research problem, theoretical framework, and research methods. The literature analysis process compels qualitative researchers to contemplate the new knowledge that their research will add to the academic field. A comprehensive literature analysis is encouraged both in qualitative and quantitative research, and if the prior literature related to the subject to be studied is insufficient, it is sometimes evaluated as having low research potential or research value. Some have claimed that a formal literature review should not be performed before the collection of field data, as it could create bias, thereby interfering with the investigation. However, as the qualitative research process is cyclic rather than unidirectional, the majority believes that a literature review can be performed at any time. Moreover, an ethical review prior to starting the research is a requirement; therefore, the research protocol must be prepared and submitted for review and approval prior to conducting the research. To prepare research protocols, the existing literature must be analyzed at least to a certain degree. Nonetheless, qualitative researchers must keep in mind that their emotions, bias, and expectations may interject themselves during the literature review process and should strive to minimize any bias to ensure the validity of the research.

Selection of the Research Participants and Data Collection Methods

The subjects of qualitative research are not necessarily humans. It is more important to find the research subject(s) from which the most in-depth answers to the research problem can be obtained. However, the subjects in most qualitative studies are humans, as most research question focus on humans. Therefore, it is important to obtain research participants with sufficient knowledge, experience, and attitudes to provide the most appropriate answers to the research question. Quantitative research, which views generalizability as a key research goal, emphasizes the selection of research participants (i.e., the research sample that can represent the study’s population of interest), whereas qualitative research emphasizes finding research participants who can best describe and demonstrate the phenomenon of interest.

In qualitative research, the participant selection method is referred to as purposeful sampling (or purposive sampling), which can be divided into various types. Sampling methods have various advantages, disadvantages, and characteristics. For instance, unique sampling (extreme case sampling) has the advantage of being able to obtain interesting research findings by researching phenomena that have previously received little or no interest, and the disadvantage of deriving research findings that are interesting to only some readers if the research is conducted on an overly unique situation. Maximum variation sampling, also referred to as theoretical sampling, is commonly used in qualitative research based on the grounded theory. Selecting the appropriate participant sampling method that suits the purpose of research is crucial ( Table 2 ).

Sampling methods of selecting research participants in qualitative research

Once the researcher has decided how to select study participants, the data collection methods must be determined. Just as with participant sampling, various data collection methods are available, all of which have various advantages and disadvantages; therefore, the method must be selected based on the research question and circumstances. Unlike quantitative research, which usually uses a single data source and data collection method, the use of multiple data sources and data collection methods is encouraged in qualitative research [ 30 ]. Using a single data source and data collection method could cause data collection to be skewed by researcher bias; therefore, using multiple data sources and data collection methods is ideal. In qualitative research, the following data types are commonly used: (1) interview data obtained through one-on-one in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, (2) observational data from various observation levels, (3) documented data collected from personal or public documents, and (4) image data, such as photographs and videos.

Interview data are the most commonly used data source in qualitative research [ 31 ]. In qualitative research, an interview refers to communication that takes place based on a clear sense of purpose of acquiring certain information, unlike conversations that typically take place in daily life. The level of data acquired through interviews varies significantly depending on the researcher’s personal qualifications and abilities, as well as his or her level of interest and knowledge regarding the research topic. Therefore, interviewers must be trained to go beyond simply identifying the clearly expressed experiences of research participants to exploring their inner experiences and emotions [ 32 ]. Interview data can be classified based on the level of structuralization of the data collection method, sample size, and interview method. The characteristics of each type of interview are given in Table 3 .

Detailed types of interview methods according to the characteristics of in-depth interviews and focus group discussion

Observations, which represent a key data collection method in anthropology, refer to a series of actions taken by the researcher in search of a deep understanding by systematically examining the appearances of research participants that take place in natural situations [ 33 ]. Observations can be categorized as participant and non-participant, insider and outsider, disguised and undisguised, short- and long-term, and structured and unstructured. However, a line cannot be drawn clearly to differentiate these categories, and the degree of each varies along a single spectrum. Therefore, it is necessary for a qualitative researcher to select the appropriate data collection method based on the circumstances and characteristics of the research topic.

Various types of document data can be used in qualitative research. Personal documents include diaries, letters, and autobiographies, while public documents include legal documents, public announcements, and civil documents. Online documents include emails and blog or bulletin board postings, while other documents include graffiti. All these document types may be used as data sources in qualitative research. In addition, image data acquired by the research participant or researcher, such as photographs and videos, serve as useful data sources in qualitative research. Such data sources are relatively objective and easily accessible, while they contain a significant amount of qualitative meaning despite the low acquisition cost. While some data may have been collected for research purposes, other data may not have been originally produced for research. Therefore, the researcher must not distort the original information contained in the data source and must verify the accuracy and authenticity of the data source in advance [ 30 ].

This review examined the characteristics of qualitative research to help researchers select the appropriate qualitative research methodology and identify situations suitable for qualitative research in the healthcare field. In addition, this paper analyzed the selection of the research topic and problem, selection of the theoretical framework and methods, literature analysis, and selection of the research participants and data collection methods. A forthcoming paper will discuss more specific details regarding other qualitative research methodologies, such as data analysis, description of findings, and research validation. This review can contribute to the more active use of qualitative research in the healthcare field, and the findings are expected to instill a proper understanding of qualitative research in researchers who review and judge qualitative research reports and papers.

Ethics Statement

Since this study used secondary data source, we did not seek approval from the institutional review board. We also did not have to ask for the consent of the participants.



The authors have no conflicts of interest associated with the material presented in this paper.


Conceptualization: Pyo J, Lee W, Choi EY, Jang SG, Ock M. Data curation: Pyo J, Ock M. Formal analysis: Pyo J, Ock M. Funding acquisition: None. Validation: Lee W, Choi EY, Jang SG. Writing - original draft: Pyo J, Ock M. Writing - review & editing: Pyo J, Lee W, Choi EY, Jang SG, Ock M.


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