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The overarching purpose of the module is to provide an overview of key concepts in public health-related research including study design, data collection and analysis, and collaboration. It consists of a total of seven topic-specific content blocks and an optional eighth block. Each block contains a 15-20 minute lecture video with slides and at least one required or supplemental reading.

This course is part of the Rural Health Training Series.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Assess the scientific literature, including consideration of study design, data collection methods, and outcomes.
  2. Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research, including strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Explain the concepts of internal and external validity, including common threats to each (e.g., maturation and selection).
  4. Describe how to conduct a systematic search of the scientific literature.

Principal faculty and their credentials: Mike Smith, DrPH, MSPH and Stephanie Mathis, DrPH, MPH
Medium or combination of media used:  Video and readings
Method of physician participation in the learning process: N/A
Estimated time to complete the educational activity: 2.0 hours
Dates of original release and most recent review or update: August 24, 2022
Termination date: June 2, 2025

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Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University designates this online activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine, Department of Continuing Education for Health Professionals(CEHP) holds the standard that its continuing medical education programs should be free of commercial bias and conflict of interest.  It is the policy of the CEHP that each presenter and planning committee member of any CME activity must disclose any financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with corporate organizations whose products or services are being discussed in a presentation. All commercial support of an educational activity must also be disclosed to the conference attendees.

This training modules was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $40,000 with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Up to 2.00 (2.00CH) continuing nursing education hours have been approved for this session of the program. East Tennessee State University College of Nursing is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the North Carolina Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

East Tennessee State University Continuing Medical Education adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity, including faculty, planners, reviewers or others are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity.

East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine, Office of Continuing Medical Education (OCME) holds the standard that its continuing medical education programs should be free of commercial bias and conflict of interest.  The OCME requires each presenter and planning committee member to disclose all financial affiliations with commercial interests.  

A commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing healthcare goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.  The following individuals have provided disclosure of potential conflicts of interest as noted:

Stephanie Mathis: Nothing to disclose.
Mike Smith: Nothing to disclose.