Student Resources

This site is intended to enhance your use of Evaluation for Health Policy and Health Care by Steven Sheingold and Anupa Bir. Please note that all the materials on this site are especially geared toward maximizing your understanding of the material.

SAGE Case Studies

Case studies curated from the SAGE Research Methods platform are available to accompany chapters 3, 5, 6, 11, and 13.

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Chapter 3: Measurement and Data

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Article 1: Liu, H. (2019). Challenges of Collecting and Analyzing Data From Online Platforms. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2,

Summary: This study shows how to apply data crawling to study online engagement behaviors, including challenges with collecting and analyzing data, and provides lessons for further studies. Governments increasingly adopted information communication technologies to involve the public more effectively in the public policy process. However, we have only a limited understanding about the behaviors of the public during online engagement. To understand the behaviors of the public in the online public policy process, this case study reveals the decision-making process of selecting, collecting, and analyzing public online engagement behavior information from a study titled “Exploring Online Engagement in Public Policy Consultation: The Crowd Or the Few?” published in the Australian Journal of Public Administration in 2016.

Questions to Consider

  1. How would you identify a new phenomenon from existing literatures so that you do not experience the challenge of putting an old wine in a new bottle phenomenon?
  2. How would you go about getting the supporting data and information needed in a timely and reliable matter and then analyze that data?
  3. Selecting a popular online public engagement website and propose a research question. Then,
    1. Describe the type of data that can be utilized to study the question and discuss the procedure for collecting such data.
    2. Discuss the challenges of identifying unique users on the online platforms.
    3. Discuss the reliability of the crawled data from online platforms.

Chapter 5: Randomized Designs

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Article 1: Sousa, V., Lopes, M., Keenan, G., & Lopez, K. (2017). Challenges and Solutions in Conducting a Randomized Controlled Trial With Students. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2,

Summary: This case describes practically the challenges and solutions in implementing a randomized controlled trial to test a new educational software program for undergraduate nursing students. The software was developed through an iterative prototyping model conducted in seven stages. In the final stage, a randomized controlled trial was carried out to compare the effectiveness of the software with printed clinical cases aimed at improving students’ ability to accurately solve clinical cases. The randomized controlled trial involved 37 subjects divided into two subgroups, experimental and comparison, and two diagnostic reasoning skill measurements, before and after using the software (experimental group) or reading an instructional text (comparison group). Throughout the randomized controlled trial, we faced several challenges that were overcome by the use of creative solutions, strategic planning, and collaboration. Lessons learned from this study can be helpful for researchers who are developing a randomized controlled trial and for future research.

Questions to Consider

  1. In the recruiting process, we used a strategy that was suitable for the particular study site: A College of Nursing. From your perspective, what other methods and tools could have been used for recruiting subjects in this scenario?
  2. The strategies used for randomization and homogeneity were venturesome for two reasons: (a) randomizing students from a list into two groups could have resulted in having more subjects in one group than in the other if some students hadn’t shown up and (b) homogeneity was achieved by changes because it was attested after randomization and not before. What improvements do you suggest for randomization and homogeneity for this research study?
  3. What challenges are involved in conducting a pre- and posttest research design? How can these challenges be attenuated?
  4. What strategies do you suggest for keeping research subjects motivated? Could you propose any stimulating factor that would convince a person to keep coming back for follow-up evaluations?
  5. What challenges are involved in training research assistants to work as facilitators in a randomized controlled trail? And what level of importance do you place on using an operational protocol during the training and data collection? Discuss your answers.

Chapter 6: Quasi-Experimental Methods: Propensity Score Techniques

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Article 1: Murray, E., & Lusher, J. (2018). Leaps, Jumps, and Hoops: From Evaluating Cardiac Rehabilitation Interventions to Identifying Causal Factors Underlying Substance Dependency. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2,

Summary: Intervention research with substance abuse populations are challenging. This case details the experiences of two doctoral-level researchers as they tried to improve outcomes for coronary heart disease patients and uncover risk factors for substance abuse. Both studies relied on quantitative methods for data collection, although one was cross-sectional and one longitudinal. Both took place in applied settings and resulted in findings which could inform services.

Questions to Consider

  1. As a researcher seeking to collect data from within the NHS, what challenges might you anticipate in accessing a clinical population?
  2. You are collecting survey data from a busy outpatient clinic and potential participants appear reluctant to take part, how do you overcome this obstacle?
  3. Why is patient/service user involvement useful in “avoiding mistakes?” Why else is it important?
  4. Why would a researcher use a mix of materials and methods to gather data? Isn’t that just difficult for patients to complete?
  5. In many cases, we carry out research alongside other jobs, what could be the advantages of this?
  6. What are the biggest challenges of carrying out longitudinal data collection? Can you think of ways to mitigate these?

Chapter 11: Program Monitoring: Aligning Decision Making With Evaluation

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Article 1: Owen-Smith, A., Coast, J., & Donovan, J. (2017). Combining Observations and Interviews: Understanding Decision-Making in the Obesity Clinic. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2,

Summary: Although it is well known that there are financial limitations on U.K. National Health Service treatment for severe obesity, little is known about how these constraints affect decision-making in clinic. In this study, we combined two qualitative methods (non-participant observation and in-depth interviews) to examine decision-making in progress.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is a purposive sampling technique, and how is it used in practice?
  2. Why (and when) might it be useful to use more than one method for qualitative data collection?
  3. What are the practical and ethical issues to consider when observing clinical consultations?
  4. What are the main differences between thematic and narrative approaches to qualitative analysis? When might an integrated approach be useful?

Chapter 13: Synthesizing Evaluation Findings

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Article 1: Sagoe, D. (2014). Methods Used in a Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression Analysis of the Global Epidemiology of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use. SAGE Research Methods Cases,

Summary: This case describes practically the use of meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis with emphasis on prevalence or epidemiological investigations. Specifically, this case explains systematically methods used in a meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis of the global lifetime prevalence of non-medical anabolic-androgenic steroid use. The case briefly explains anabolic-androgenic steroid and introduces the literature review method expatiating on systematic and unsystematic reviews. In addition, the case clarifies meta-analysis explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the method. The case also elucidates meta-regression analysis and its usefulness as a complement to meta-analytic investigations. Based on practical examples, the case addresses issues such as research question formulation, study selection, search strategy, and statistical analysis in meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are the two main kinds of literature review? What is the difference between the two kinds of literature review?
  2. Explain a meta-analysis. What are the seven main steps of conducting a meta-analysis?
  3. Describe the benefits meta-regression analysis brings to a meta-analytic investigation.
  4. Describe three advantages and three disadvantages of conducting a meta-analysis.
  5. What is grey literature? Indicate five potential areas you would source literature for a meta-analytic investigation.
  6. How would you deal with duplicate studies in a meta-analytic investigation?
  7. Explain the file drawer problem. How would you deal with the file drawer problem in a meta-analytic investigation?