Public Health Research: Using a Mixed Method Approach (Honduras)

Ask us how you and your class can customize this offering to be done in person in one of our program countries.

Public health students practice a mixed method approach to public health research, where both quantitative and qualitative data are collected and analyzed. Students are provided with quantitative data from a single rural community in Honduras, and will then analyze the data. Based on their findings, students then create a survey to collect qualitative information to complement the emerging picture of the community’s health challenges. Students will interview community members in real-time using the qualitative survey. Based on their overall findings, students present key results of their research to the community.

Students also work to develop intercultural competencies that are integrated into the course. Ultimately, these engaged experiences help to increase the quality of services that improve the outcomes for the community.

Public Health Program Learning Objectives

Students that successfully complete the Public Health Program will be able to:

  • Discuss issues impacting health in rural communities found in a developing country such as Honduras.
  • Learn how to design and use a mixed method approach to research in public health.
  • Analyze quantitative data focused on the social determinants of health that impact the wellbeing in a rural Honduran community.  
  • Design a survey to collect qualitative data and apply it in multiple live focus group sessions. 
  • Summarize the findings from both the qualitative and quantitative analyses and present a needs assessment report to the community. 

Resources provided in support of the virtual sessions and Modules

  • A bilingual, on-the-ground session facilitator will coordinate each virtual session with students.
  • A translator is provided in each virtual session in which students engage with patients and community healthcare workers. Doctors and medical staff are also bilingual.
  • Program materials are provided to all students.
  • Session scheduling that coordinates your course and community meetings.


There are 10 Modules in the Public Health Program. Each Module is scheduled for two hours. The Modules can be variously assembled to build programs of the appropriate length and focus. Additional Modules can be developed to address specific campus needs.

Module 1: Introductions and Overview, Community Selection Process, and Reflection and Action (Contact time: 2 hour est.)

Introduction and overview of the Public Health Program and its activities. The mixed method approach of public health research is discussed. Details of the community selection process and key approaches to working with international communities – reflection, action, and intercultural competencies – are explored.

Module 1 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Read and reflect on the assigned article on the mixed method approach of public health research: Application of Mixed Method Approach in Public Health Research (

Students explore the selected community’s profile on our website, watch a video on the social determinants of health, and then complete the Social Determinants of the Health Worksheet (UN SDG – 3).

Module 2: Honduran Public Health Context – Issues, Healthcare System, and Responses to these Challenges (Contact time: 2 hour est.)

Explore in detail public health challenges in Honduras and how the healthcare system is organized and functions. Facilitators will also share some of the most successful public health interventions used to address these challenges.

Module 2 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Reflect on Honduran public health challenges and its healthcare systems, and draw parallels to your own community’s public health challenges and healthcare systems.

Module 3: Use of a Mixed Methods Approach to Public Health Research (Contact time: 2 hour est.)

Students learn about the mixed methods approach to public health research so that they can then prepare a community-based needs assessment report. Students learn how Kobotoolbox is used to collect quantitative data in their assigned community. Using the baseline data and the Rapid Needs Assessment data from the community is analyzed in class.

Module 3 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Students continue to analyze the data collected from their assigned community, and summarize the findings for discussion in the next Module.

Read the article on how to create a problem tree: D8_1_Problem_Tree_Analysis.pdf (

Module 4: Design the Qualitative Data Collection Survey (Contact time: 2 hour est.)

Using the results of the quantitative data, students design a survey to collect qualitative information to be used with community-based focus groups. Students discuss focus groups methodology and review how to create a problem tree.

Module 4 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Students continue to work on the qualitative interview for the focus groups.

 Students read the following article: Research Methods in Healthcare Epidemiology: Survey and Qualitative Research (

Module 5: Focus Group 1

Meet and interview members of the community to discuss community health challenges and begin to create a problem tree.

Module 5 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Class compiles, reviews, and analyzes data from the focus group interview.

Module 6: Focus Group 2

Meet and interview a different group of community members to discuss community health challenges and continue to create a problem tree.

Module 6 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Class compiles, reviews, and analyzes data from the focus group interview.

Module 7: Working Session 1 – Priority Health Challenges

Class works on summarizing the challenges identified in the quantitative and qualitative data. The class articulates the implications of those health challenges impacting community members. Students identify suggested actions to address the health challenges and draft a market analysis of health infrastructure needs.

Module 7 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Class prepares a draft needs assessment report and a draft slide presentation based on prioritized health challenges, their consequences, and suggested actions.

Module 8: Working Session 2

Students present the draft needs assessment report and draft slide presentation to GB public health director for final feedback, and practice their presentation before meeting with community members.

Module 8 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Class revises materials based on feedback.

Module 9: Community Presentation

Class presents the needs assessment report through a slide presentation to community members.

Module 9 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Class finalizes the needs assessment report based on the community meeting. The written needs assessment report will be forwarded to the community.

Module 10: Final Reflections & Cultural Activity

Class prepares a local Honduran dish and reflects on the overall experience.


Request Information

Are you a student and not a faculty member? Find a student-led brigade Chapter near you.