5 Topics for a Health Policy Capstone

Many people graduating with a master's degree in health policy have had to complete a capstone project. While many students grumble during the process, most admit that they actually enjoy getting to research deeply into an area that they find thrilling. The process begins with the student choosing a health policy topic that they want to study, so use these ideas to get your own creative juices flowing.

Resource: Top 20 Online Health Policy Master's Degree Programs 2017-2018

Mental Health Among the Homeless

It is estimated that there are over 250.000 homeless individuals in America. At least 33 percent of them have a serious mental illness. Yet, many do not receive adequate treatment. A project could examine the most effective treatment programs for mental illness in the homeless population while making recommendations on how those programs could be implemented across the United States.

Providing Lead-free Water in the United States

While lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, has received a lot of press, there are actually over 5,700 communities in the United States where the lead level in water is even greater. In fact, according to the National Resource Defense League, about 25 percent of Americans live in communities where the water is not safe to drink. A senior project could examine the common ties among those communities along with helping to educate the public about safe drinking water.

Drug Interactions in Seniors

Approximately 34 percent of all emergency room visits are due to drug interactions. It is particularly a problem among seniors who often take multiple drugs. The three most common classes of drugs causing problems are opioid-based pain medications, diabetes medications and blood thinners. Students could examine ways that the medical community could become more aware of these potential interactions and suggest a way that they could be automatically alerted. Alternatively, the student could look at how patients can be taught to spot these interactions and understand when to seek emergency help.

Nursing Home Emergency Evacuations

Each new major disaster proves that nursing homes do not have good emergency evacuation plans. Six residents died without authorities being notified that their emergency generators failed while during Hurricane Harvey residents sat in water up to their waists before private individuals rescued them. Students can examine the special evacuation needs of this population along with suggesting recommendations for the future.

The Effect of Sleep on Teenagers

Numerous schools are deciding to start school later in the day. In theory, students will perform better academically because they will get more sleep. Experts also suggest that starting school later will result in fewer car accidents. Others argue that students will just stay up later and that they will drive more at night. Students could compare schools with earlier start times and later start times to see if the evidence supports the theory.

A particular capstone project should be chosen because the topic interests the student. Once the topic is chosen, then the student needs to determine the exact question that they want to study. Most will then need to get approval from a faculty member before they can begin their research. Do not wait too long to begin because these projects take time to research and write.

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