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HS 390W: Current Health Issues

Use this guide to access resources for research in Health Sciences. Contact a librarian for advanced research assistance.

Current Health Issues, Topics and Trends

Choosing a topic:

There are many places to look for information about current health issues, from newspapers and news stories to scholarly articles, as well as government and non-profit organization websites. Try these websites to look at current health trends:

Government Websites

NYTimes

The Who and What of your Question

Who?

  • Who is writing about this topic?
    • Health professionals, religious organization, news outlets
  • Who is the author’s desired audience?
  • Are they credible?
  • Does the author have a bias or agenda?

What?

  • What is your topic?
  • Is it controversial?
  • Is it currently in the news?
  • Is there federal policy around it?
  • Is there professional policy around it?
    • Best practices
  • What are the geographic parameters?

Formulating a question

Once you've decided on a topic, think about what questions you want to ask about that topic.  What would you like to know more about?  Thinking about this will help you develop a research question. 

Examples of research questions:

  • Does improved nutrition in children impact academic achievement?
  • Are teenage drivers more likely to be involved in automobile accidents? 
  • Do early intervention programs prevent smoking among teenagers who live in rural areas within the United States?
  • Do bicycle seats effect reproductive health in professional cyclists? 
  • Are pregnant women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds less likely to use prenatal vitamins?

 

After you have formulated a research question, you'll want to search a variety of health resource to make sure that there is enough information about your topic for you to complete the assignments. 

Factors to consider when formulating a research question:

  • What is the health issue (is it looking at the prevention of a health condition, is it about the treatment of a health condition, etc.?)
  • Who is your audience: is it a population, or is it an individual, such as a patient?
  • How is the information going to be used by a population or a patient?
  • What types of resources should be consulted to answer the complexity of your question? Evidence-based? Peer-reviewed?
  • How many resources might be necessary in order to adequately research the topic?