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Foundations of Research Design


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Full course description

Program Title: Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Practice

COURSE 1 Foundations of Research Design

Course Developer:  Daryl Nault, MS, MSiMR

Category: Professional and Continuing Education – Professional Certificate

Location: Online

Format:  On-Demand, Self-paced

Credential: Certificate of Completion

CEUs: 3 CEUs* (MUIH)

*MUIH awards credentials based on the PCE CEU Philosophy.  Various professional organizations and boards may accept this offering for continuing education requirements. Please verify with your respective relevant professional organization or email with questions.

Registration Fee(s): 

$349 for complete Professional Certificate* *SAVINGS of $50 for certificate package purchase!*

$79 for individual course registration

Who should participate:

Complementary and integrative health practitioners or any healthcare clinician or student interested in learning how to conduct evidence-based research and applying evidence-informed practices to improve patient outcomes.

Pre-requisites:  None Required (Integrative Health background recommended)

Professional Certificate Program Description:

The Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Practice supports the critical analysis of a wide range of integrative health studies. The program provides future and integrative medicine professionals with the foundational knowledge and skills to identify and evaluate the research design and basic statistics and offers practicing holistic health professionals with the core concepts of health research to further contribute to their field as scholars. Learners will develop skills in searching databases, critical reading, and utilization of basic, clinical, epidemiological, and related research.   Learners will then find and evaluate published information on health topics of individual interest and will be positioned to summarize and share these findings with their professional community upon completion.

Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Integrative Practice Introduction:

Evidence-Informed Practice involves the process of integrating research evidence, clinical experience, and patient preferences into the art of healthcare decision-making. For some practitioners, how to seek, find, and appraise relevant literature to form a body of research evidence is still a challenging task. In this program, participants will learn how to systematically apply the basics of research design, information literacy, and basic medical statistics to search, acquire, and appraise relevant literature on clinical questions. Learners will navigate a study the same way that researchers do to come to comprehensive and thorough evaluations of evidence and will make practical use of the course texts, online tutorials, recent literature, and appraisal tools to guide them along the way.

Certificate Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the 5-courses, you will be able to:

  • Identify challenges of research in complementary and integrative healthcare.
  • Recognize different types of research designs and summaries (i.e., qualitative studies, case-control studies, cohort studies, basic science studies, explanatory and pragmatic randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses) and list the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
  • Evaluate the processes involved in asking a specific clinical question and systematically retrieving the relevant literature.
  • Discover how the structure of published literature aids in deconstructing and translating research studies.
  • Use statistical concepts frequently mentioned in healthcare research (i.e., percentages, mean, median, standard deviation, P value, confidence intervals, odds ratio, hazard ratio, and number needed to treat), and to interpret the results of research studies.
  • Practice the concepts behind literature appraisal for validity, relevancy, and bias. 

The Professional Certificate is comprised of the following 5 courses:

Course 1 - Foundations of Research Design

Course 2 – Finding and Selecting Appropriate Evidence

Course 3 - Primary Research Evidence Appraisal

Course 4 - Understanding Study Results

Course 5 - Secondary Research Appraisal and Applications

Program Features:

  • Lifetime access to the course content for use in professional practice
  • Video lesson presentations and slides
  • PDF course handouts and embedded research resources
  • Certificates of Completion – individual courses and program (upon successful achievement of course activities and assessments)
  • Skills to conduct professional healthcare research and knowledge to apply evidence-informed practice in clinical settings

*CEUs should be verified with the individual professional organization(s) for which you are seeking continuing education credit as this offering may be accepted by various professional certifying boards.

Course 1 - Foundations of Research Design

This first course Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Integrative Practice, Foundations of Research Design, sets the stage for approaching evidence as a meaningful tool in clinical practice. It begins by considering the importance of health research and explores the reciprocal relationship possible between health research and clinical experience. Additionally, this course covers the challenges specific to conducting integrative health research.

Learners will examine the ways perspective influences the use of evidence in an integrative practice and the role historical research has played in shaping the current bioethics landscape. Foundations of Research Design concludes by covering the most common research characteristics and designs with a focus on how these elements impact the application of research in a real-world context.

  • Discern why clinical experience alone is insufficient for making clinical decisions.
  • Select specific challenges of conducting and interpreting research in integrative health.
  • Recognize the relationship between the evidence hierarchy and internal/external validity.
  • Identify the relationship between validity and personal perspective/bias.
  • Define research evidence and describe the importance of research in healthcare.
  • Describe the general characteristics of different types of research (basic science, clinical, observational, qualitative, and health services).
  • ·        List the basic types of study design used in contemporary healthcare research. 

Offering Details:

*This offering is eligible for the PCE MUIH Community Benefit program. To redeem the benefit:

·          MUIH Employees and Current MUIH Students, retrieve promo codes for use upon enrollment through MyMUIH at MUIH PCE Benefits

·          MUIH Alumni, email with your name and course/program of interest to request a promo code upon verification of alumni status.

*Note: Only one promo code may be used at a time.

For questions about this offering or CEUs, contact

For registration technical support, please contact 1-844-414-5052 or  View our helpful video tutorial for registrations, Catalog Student Dashboard navigation, and Canvas, your online learning platform.

Refund Policy:  This self-based program is non-refundable upon purchase.