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PHDH907 Methods for examination of health, function and participation

Course description for academic year 2024/2025

Contents and structure

The subject covers the use of methods for assessing health, function, and participation. To assess whether measurement instruments provide reproducible, reliable, valid, appropriate, and interpretable results, advanced knowledge of measurement methods and psychometric properties is necessary. The subject provides an in-depth understanding of the theoretical basis, empirical development, application of measurement methods, analytical methodology and interpretation.

The subject addresses the use of methods for quantifying outcome measures related to health, function, and participation. This includes the evaluation of physical assessment tools and patient-reported data (PROMs and PREMs). Quantification of results forms the basis for diagnostics, prognosis, assessment, and the evaluation of various interventions.

Learning Outcome

After completing the course, the ph.d. student will have the following educational outcomes:

Knowledge: The student ...

  • has in-depth knowledge of basic concepts, theories, models 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 appropriate methods for evaluating characteristics of the measuring instruments, including reliability, validity, discriminative ability, response, prediction and change over time
  • has knowledge of suitable statistical methods for assessing measurements error
  • has knowledge of assessment and development of new instruments and measurements 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 reliability, validity, discriminative ability, response, prediction and change over time of the measuring instruments
  • can use appropriate statistical methods to assess sources of measurement error
  • can interpret measurement and survey results critically

General competence: The student...

  • can apply concepts related to measurement theory, weaknesses and strengths in various measurement methods relevant to research in health, function and participation
  • can perform a systematic and scientific translation procedure of internationally recognised, standardised, 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, leaders, 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. The number of PhD students should preferably comprise at least 50% of the total number of participants.

Teaching methods

Two seminars with lectures, group work, seminars and discussions: 3 days on campus + 1 day digital seminar. Participants must describe their own measurement methods at the start of the course, and active participation is expected by presenting relevant issues during the course.

Participants are expected to participate in group assignments between the seminars.

Compulsory learning activities

The following course requirements must be approved in order to take the exam.

At the start of the course, a "one pager" is provided where measurement methods in the student's ph.d. project is described. In addition, attendance at seminar with a presentation of one's own aims an selected assments tool is mandatory.



A written individual assignment where a measurement method is described and has been used, provided with rationale of the method. The scope of the assignment is a maximum of 2000 words, plus/ minus 10%.

Grading Pass / fail

If failing to pass, an improved version of the essay is allowed to be submitted once.

Examination support material

All aids are permitted.

For more information about use of artificial intelligence (AI), please see Submission of home exams and assignments - Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (hvl.no).

More about examination support material