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Strengthening capacity to research the social determinants of health in low- and middle-income countries: lessons from the INTREC programme

Henschke, Nicholas ; Mirny, Anna ; Haafkens, Joke A. ; Ramroth, Heribert ; Padmawati, Siwi ; Bangha, Martin ; Berkman, Lisa ; Trisnantoro, Laksono ; Blomstedt, Yulia ; Becher, Heiko ; Sankoh, Osman ; Byass, Peter ; Kinsman, John

In: BMC Public Health, 17 (2017), Nr. 514. pp. 1-11. ISSN 1471-2458

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Download (697kB) | Lizenz: Creative Commons LizenzvertragStrengthening capacity to research the social determinants of health in low- and middle-income countries: lessons from the INTREC programme by Henschke, Nicholas ; Mirny, Anna ; Haafkens, Joke A. ; Ramroth, Heribert ; Padmawati, Siwi ; Bangha, Martin ; Berkman, Lisa ; Trisnantoro, Laksono ; Blomstedt, Yulia ; Becher, Heiko ; Sankoh, Osman ; Byass, Peter ; Kinsman, John underlies the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany

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Abstract

Background: The INDEPTH Training & Research Centres of Excellence (INTREC) collaboration developed a training programme to strengthen social determinants of health (SDH) research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It was piloted among health- and demographic researchers from 9 countries in Africa and Asia. The programme followed a blended learning approach and was split into three consecutive teaching blocks over a 12-month period: 1) an online course of 7 video lectures and assignments on the theory of SDH research; 2) a 2-week qualitative and quantitative methods workshop; and 3) a 1-week data analysis workshop. This report aims to summarise the student evaluations of the pilot and to suggest key lessons for future approaches to strengthen SDH research capacity in LMICs. Methods: Semi-structured interviews and questionnaires with 24 students from 9 countries in Africa and Asia were used to evaluate each teaching block. Information was collected about the students’ motivation and interest in studying SDH, any challenges they faced during the consecutive teaching blocks, and suggestions they had for future courses on SDH. Results: Of the 24 students who began the programme, 13 (54%) completed all training activities. The students recognised the need for such a course and its potential to improve their skills as health researchers. The main challenges with the online course were time management, prior knowledge and skills required to participate in the course, and the need to get feedback from teaching staff throughout the learning process. All students found the face-to-face workshops to be of high quality and value for their work, because they offered an opportunity to clarify SDH concepts taught during the online course and to gain practical research skills. After the final teaching block, students felt they had improved their data analysis skills and were better able to develop research proposals, scientific manuscripts, and policy briefs. Conclusions: The INTREC programme has trained a promising cadre of health researchers who live and work in LMICs, which is an essential component of efforts to identify and reduce national and local level health inequities. Time management and technological issues were the greatest challenges, which can inform future attempts to strengthen research capacity on SDH.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Public Health
Volume: 17
Number: 514
Publisher: BioMed Central
Place of Publication: London
Date Deposited: 29 May 2017 09:05
Date: 2017
ISSN: 1471-2458
Page Range: pp. 1-11
Faculties / Institutes: Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg > Institut für Public Health (IPH)
Subjects: 610 Medical sciences Medicine
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