What are Methods Guides?
A Public Health Law Research Program “Methods Guide,” created by a leading public health law researcher from the PHLR Methods Core group, is designed to help public health professionals understand how to conduct research in law, and help legal professionals understand scientific methods. Methods Guides are organized by their applicability to the stages of a project, from the development of the research questions and design of the study, through the selection of measures and collection of data, to analysis and dissemination.
Michelle Mello J.D., Ph.D., a member of the Public Health Law Research (PHLR) Methods Core, offers advice for writing a successful funding proposal.
Jennifer Ibrahim, Ph.D., M.P.H., a member of the PHLR "Methods Core," demonstrates the building of logic models in this podcast.
Jennifer Ibrahim, Ph.D., M.P.H., a member of the PHLR "Methods Core," explains how to create a working database of public health law - a legal dataset - in this podcast.
Scott Burris, J.D., director of the center, explains in this podcast what public health law research is, and what kinds of research PHLR supports.
Jennifer Ibrahim, Ph.D., M.P.H., a member of the PHLR "Methods Core," explains the importance and purpose of scientific rigor in this podcast.
Jennifer Wood, Ph.D., a member of the PHLR "Methods Core," describes how qualitative research can advance the goals of PHLR and provides examples of qualitative data collection methods.
In "Measuring Statutory Law and Regulations for Empirical Research," Evan Anderson, Charles Tremper, Sue Thomas and Alexander C. Wagenaar provides researchers with a practical how-to guide in applying the scientific method to measure the law for quantitative research.
Qualitative research helps form our understanding of relationships between law, legal practices and public health. Because of its inductive nature, qualitative research generates insight into previously unstudied (or understudied) mechanisms of legal effect. Its various methods and strategies help uncover ways in which laws have effects that lie outside existing theories and models, and for which standardized quantitative measures do not exist.
PHLR researchers can draw upon a variety of theories developed by socio-legal scholars to explain how laws are put into practice and how they influence environments and behaviors. Similarly, it is possible to integrate laws within general social and behavioral theories. And it is in fact possible to do both at the same time. These methods make it possible to substantially improve the validity, utility and credibility of health research on effects of laws and legal practices.
In a paper published in the Milbank Quarterly, a multidisciplinary journal of population health and health policy, Temple University law professor Scott C. Burris and colleagues formally introduce the field as a new way of looking at the relationship between law and health.
Publication Date: 01/13/2011