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PHDH907 Methods for examination of health, function and participation

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

Central to this topic is the choice of appropriate designs, as well as questions related to what we want to measure, how to choose the most appropriate measuring instrument in a given situation and being able to use appropriate statistical methods. Measurement methods and measuring instruments are under continuous development. To assess whether measuring instruments produce reproducible, reliable, valid, appropriate, and interpretable results, we need good methods to compare the properties of different measuring instruments. The course provides an in-depth understanding of the theoretical basis, empirical development and use of various measuring instruments. Furthermore, emphasis is placed on assessing and analysing the psychometric properties of measurement methods and finally the application of measurement methods, including analytical methodology and interpretation.

Quantification of results is the basis for diagnosis, prognosis, mapping and evaluation of various interventions. Methods for mapping cover self-reported data, quality of life measurements, physical examinations and tests, laboratory tests, and imaging diagnostics.

Learning Outcome

After completing the course, the student will have the following total learning outcome:

Knowledge:The student ...

  • has in-depth knowledge of basic concepts, theories and models related to choice of design and survey methods within health, function and participation
  • has extensive knowledge of mapping methods adapted to various research questions within health, function and participation
  • has advanced knowledge of suitable methods for evaluating the characteristics of the measuring instrument, including reliability, validity, discriminative ability, response, prediction and change over time
  • has knowledge of suitable statistical methods for assessing sources of measurement error
  • has knowledge of assessment and development of new instruments and measurement and mapping methods

Skills:The student ...

  • is able to use suitable mapping methods and measuring instruments adapted to various research questions
  • is able to use appropriate methods to evaluate the reliability, validity, discriminative ability, response, prediction and change over time of the measuring instrument
  • can use appropriate statistical methods to assess sources of measurement error
  • can interpret measurement and survey results in a critical way

General competence:The student...

  • can apply concepts related to measurement theory, weaknesses and strengths in various measurement methods relevant to research in health and function
  • can perform a systematic and scientific translation procedure of internationally recognized, standardized, valid and reliable measuring instruments for use in a Norwegian context
  • can use results from group-level measurements to promote the user and patient perspective in dialogue with other health professionals, managers, health authorities and politicians

Entry requirements

Master's degree with 120 ECTS credits or equivalent in relevant academic fields.

Number of participants: The course requires a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20 participants.

Teaching methods

Two seminars with lectures, group work, seminars and discussions: 3-days on-campus + 1-day digital seminar. Participants are encouraged to describe their own measurement methods at the start of the course, and to participate actively by presenting relevant issues along the way.

Participants at expected to participate in group assignments between the two seminars.

Compulsory learning activities



Submission of a written individual assignment where a mapping method has been used and justified.

Grading Pass / fail

If failing to pass, a second exam date allows for an improved version of the essay to be handed-in.