Good research paper topics in health education and health sciences

The health field offers an extensive variety of topics to research.

The health field offers an extensive variety of topics to research.

Health education is a combination of learning experiences designed to help adults, children and communities improve their health, increase their knowledge and influence their attitudes about health and health care, according to the World Health Organization. College students in the health sciences have a wealth of topics to choose from for their research papers – physical health, mental health, emotional health and social health. Here are some good research paper topics and resources where you can find more topic ideas for health education.

Issues in science teaching

One research paper topic idea is to discuss the “science teacher as expert” syndrome prevalent in many schools and colleges, according to John Sears and Pete Sorensen in the book Issues in Science Teaching found on Questia.com. The authors explained that “science teachers have an important role to play in health education programmes, not just because of their expertise, but because they have additional strengths such as those derived from working as a team in a practically focused subject.” Sears and Sorensen added that staff in other disciplines can also make vital contributions to health education by developing creative partnerships with colleagues.

Use of social media in health and medical education

Another idea for a research paper is to discuss the role of social media in health education. For example, “Benefits and Barriers of Pediatric Healthcare Providers toward Using Social Media in Asthma Care,” by Mary P. Martinasek, et al., in American Journal of Health Education July/August 2011, found that benefits of social media technology “include enhanced understanding of how adolescents perceive asthma, improved patient-provider relationships, the availability of an interactive venue and an additional way to provide accurate information to asthmatic teens.” Barriers to social media use were time constraints during office hours, personal commitments, work schedules, perceived liability issues and lack of comfort with the technology.

Resources for health education topics

For more resources to find great ideas for research paper topics on health education, try some of these:

The World Health Organization (WHO) offers a vast list of health topics (http://www.who.int/topics/en/), from accidents (radiation) to zoonoses (infectious diseases transmitted between species) for WHO projects, initiatives, activities, information products and contacts organized by health and development topics.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a Read Suggested Topics for Research page containing topics submitted by others and a Reports page for research in progress and final reports.

The journal Health Education Research is available archived at http://her.oxfordjournals.org/content/by/year with articles on a variety of topics including sex education, youth smoking, diabetes and heart disease in ethnic groups, physical activity for school children, healthy nutrition, obesity and mass media, and many more.

Health Education Journal offers information on health promotion, health education, research, policy development and practice, and international perspective. It offers articles from past and current issues at http://hej.sagepub.com/content/by/year.

American Public Health Association

The American Public Health Association (APHA) (http://www.apha.org/publications/) offers books, periodicals, literature and resources on promoting scientific standards, action programs and public policy for good health. The organization publishes the American Journal of Public Health and the newspaper The Nation’s Health with research, practitioners’ experiences and a historical context to new and old public health problems. APHA also publishes guidebooks and health texts, such as Control of Communicable Diseases Manual. At a recent annual meeting, the APHA advocated the use of social media to engage the public. The organization offered courses in using text messages for health education and creating public health videos for use on YouTube.

College library databases

Some colleges, such as the University of Michigan, offer a database of resources, strategies and information on conducting research in health behavior and health education. Michigan’s Databases By Topic (http://guides.lib.umich.edu/content.php?pid=26202&sid=1349418) shows Article Databases and Reports & Proceedings for health journals, abstracts, indexes and resources for health education. At your college, check out your library’s Health Sciences section for reference material, research topics, research strategy and databases.

What do you think would make a good research paper topic in health education? Share with us in the comments below. 

For information on health education, check out Questia’s Health and Medicine page with topics like health education, medical education, public health, third world health and preventive medicine.

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