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Pfadenhauer, Lisa Maria ORCID: 0000-0001-5038-8072; Coenen, Michaela; Kühlmeyer, Katja; Odukoya, Dennis; Schunk, Michaela; Unger, Hella von (2018): Teaching Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health and Medicine: a research oriented module. In: GMS Journal For Medical Education, Vol. 35, No. 4
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Objectives: Qualitative health research can contribute to knowledge building in public health and medicine, but there is a lack of research-oriented training of qualitative methods at universities with public health programs and in medical schools. The aim of this paper is to describe our experiences in conceptualising, implementing and evaluating an elective on qualitative methods in the Master of Public Health (MPH) programme at the Medical Faculty of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich. Methods: A new research-oriented elective (3 Credit Points) was developed and delivered to MPH and medical students in summer 2016. This elective consisted of three blocks that were complemented by two practice sessions. The students worked in small groups. These groups developed a research question and a qualitative study design addressing the thematic focus of vaccinations. Each student conducted two semi-structured interviews with a semi-structured interview grid. Students transcribed the interviews, analysed them according to content analysis and presented the results collaboratively. Results: In that semester, 16 students successfully completed the elective. Groups of two to three students worked on their respective research questions, presented, and reflected on their research results. The participants evaluated the module as very good, particularly with regard to the structure and consistency of the blocks. To facilitate individualised mentoring and guidance, a high student-lecturer ratio is required. Timeframe and workload should pay tribute to the module's credit points. Conclusions: We successfully implemented a research-oriented elective providing a first-hand experience with qualitative health research methods. Students were able to learn about the theory and practical application of qualitative research in the field of medicine and public health.