Disability, Health, and Participation Coursework

The Disability, Health, & Participation concentration requires 18 credit hours of coursework outside of other program requirements. It is a unique interdisciplinary field of study that advances the understanding of person, activity, and environmental factors contributing to disability, function, participation, and health. We adopt the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health conceptualization of participation, which is defined as meaningful engagement in all areas of life and in society. We recognize that function and disability results from the dynamic interaction between health conditions, environmental factors, and personal factors. Through research addressing these factors, our unified purpose is to optimize the participation and health of all people, including people with disabilities, impairments, and chronic health conditions, within their environments.

Students complete core courses that provide foundational theoretical knowledge to conduct disability, health, and participation research. Students also identify one scholarly focus area in which to develop advanced methodological skills: 1) Advanced methods to engage individuals and communities to inform the development of rehabilitation assessments and interventions; or 2) Advanced clinical trial designs and methodologies for health and participation interventions. Students will integrate knowledge and skills from their core and scholarly focus area courses to conduct innovative dissertation research to promote the health and participation of individuals, communities, or society.

Core Curriculum

Students are required to complete all core courses (6 credits) that provide foundational theoretical knowledge to conduct disability, health, and participation research.

Core Courses:

  • RSD 6920: Disability, Health, and Participation Journal Club (1 credit)
  • RSD 6410: Development and Evaluation of Rehabilitation Interventions to Promote Participation (3 credits)
  • RSD 7752 Instrument Development for Health and Rehabilitation (2 credits)

Students must complete at least 12 additional credits aligned with their scholarly focus area. At least 3 of the 12 total credits must be one of the listed courses in the “Scholarly Areas” listed below. The additional 12 credits may include: 1) other courses listed in the scholarly area (below), or 2) with approval from the student’s mentor, other courses aligned with their scholarly focus area.

Scholarly Area 1 Courses: Engaging individuals and communities

  • PHC 6724 Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health and Health Sciences (3 credits)
  • PHC 6704 Community-Based Participatory Research (3 credits)
  • PHC 6937: Introduction to Mixed Methods Research (3 credits)

Scholarly Area 2 Courses: Clinical trial methodology

  • GMS 6851 Fundamentals of Dissemination and Implementation Research (3 credits)
  • GMS 6813 Pragmatic Clinical Trials (3 credits)
  • GMS 6885: Translational Health Research Design (3 credits)