Institute for Health & Ageing

Promoting positive ageing and an age friendly society

IHA Third Friday Research Methods Seminars 2017

The Institute for Health & Ageing is pleased to present seminars on research methods for health researchers.


Friday 17th March, 2-3pm: Dr Suzanne Mavoa – GIS and health and Dr Jack Barton – AURIN Workbench overview
Friday 21st April, 2-3pm: Dr Steven Simpson – Regression
Friday 19th May, 2-3pm: Dr Lucy Busija – Group concept mapping
Friday 16th June, 2-3pm: Ash Macleod – RASCH analysis
Friday 21st July, 2-3pm: Dr Melanie Lowe – Translating Research into Policy

Room 6.02, Level 6, 215 Spring street Melbourne or by telephone or audio-visual conference.

The seminars are designed to provide a brief overview of a range of methodological aspects of designing, managing and analysing the results of research studies. Presentations will be followed by an opportunity for questions and discussion.

If you would like to nominate a topic for a future research methods seminar send your suggestions to

March’s seminar on Friday the 17th, is with Dr Suzanne Mavoa where she will give a brief introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) and provide an overview of the use of GIS, spatial analysis, and geospatial technologies in health research. This will include examples from her research which has focused on the built environment and health. Finally, Suzanne will provide some tips on how to get started (software, hardware, data, training), whether or not to do GIS yourself or hire a specialist, and a description of some common challenges.

Following Suzanne’s presentation there will be an opportunity to hear from Dr Jack Barton from AURIN who will present an overview of the AURIN Workbench and its flagship application, the AURIN Portal. He will discuss how researchers can access diverse data from multiple sources, and demonstrate geospatial data integration and interrogation processes using open source e-research tools.

Dr Lucy BusijaIHA’s Dr Lucy Busija will present Group Concept Mapping on Friday April 21st. Group concept mapping is a mixed-methods research design that applies quantitative methods of data analysis to the analysis of qualitative data. The aim of group concept mapping is to derive a conceptual framework that captures major themes describing a concept of interest. Concept mapping methodology originated in program evaluation research but is gaining popularity in health and social sciences research. This talk will give an overview of the aims of group concept mapping, outline major steps of concept mapping studies, and present examples of applications of group concept mapping in health research.

The seminar on 19 May is presented by IHA’s Dr Steve Simpson, Jr., who will presented a general overview of regression methods for continuous and dichotomous outcomes, in particular issues that need be borne in mind when using them.

He explains: “Most of us use some form of regression in our analyses: linear regression for continuous outcomes, logistic regression for dichotomous outcomes. The more adventurous among us may delve into Poisson and Cox proportional hazards regression methods. In this talk, I will discuss analytical issues in evaluating continuous and categorical outcomes. In particular, the need for normality and means to address non-normality of outcomes in linear regression, as well as influential data points will be discussed. For dichotomous outcomes, I will continue to proselytise the use of log-binomial regression for dichotomous outcomes outside case-control studies. I will show the impact of using the wrong method, discuss issues concerning model fit, and how to interpret and present the results from this method (surprise! It’s not much different from the odds ratio). Finally, I will discuss the use of multinomial regression methods, where a categorical outcome is evaluated. If you use these regression methods – and I expect most of you do – I hope you will attend.”


July’s seminar comes from ACU’s Dr Melanie Rowe when she will present Translating research into policy: Evidence-informed planning for healthy urban environments
This seminar will explore how to strengthen the translation of health research into policy and practice, with a focus on urban and transport planning. The evidence on research- and practice-side barriers and enablers of research translation will be outlined. Dr Lowe will then explore how policy frameworks can assist researchers to understand policymaking processes, and better tailor research translation strategies to the different stages and characteristics of policymaking. Such responsive and targeted translation approaches will help to ensure that the best available public health evidence informs how our cities are planned, developed and managed.

IHA encourages interested colleagues to attend in person at the IHA offices (Room 6.02, Level 6, 215 Spring street Melbourne), or by telephone or audio-visual conference.

ACU colleagues could dial in from a campus A/V meeting room, or by using Polycom Realpresence on their computer desktop. A/V room bookings can be made via or by calling 07 3623 7272. The Servicedesk can also assist with Polycom installation on your PC or laptop.

The seminars start at 2pm and go for an hour except for our March offering which will extend for extra time.

Register your interest at

Download our seminar flyer here.


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