Course P301/01 How to design and conduct your PhD study to be family-focused


Course leader: Karin Piil

Language: English

Graduate school: Faculty of Health

Graduate program: PH

Course fee: 2,400.00 DKK

Max seats: 12

Applicants: 9

Status: Contact administrator for a late registration

Semester: Spring 2021

Application deadline: 12/04/2021

Start date: 10/05/2021

Administrator: Annette Poulsen

Course changed to online

Due to Covid-19 the course has been changed to online teaching.

Title: How to design and conduct your PhD study to be family-focused P301/01

is being offered by the Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University, spring 2021

Criteria for participation: PhD students planning to conduct family-focused projects within health science

Aim: The aim is to introduce, discuss and apply family-focused approach, methods and evaluations in health science research

Learning outcomes: A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

  1. Understand the basic characteristics of family-focused approach and dialogue
  2. Understand, discuss and argue for the central methodological considerations
  3. Identify appropriate family-focused qualitative and quantitative data sources for research 
  4. Describe and argue for the choice of patient-reported outcome and caregiver-reported outcome
  5. Identify strengths and limitations of a family-focused approach
  6. Understand and apply family-focused values across culture and in vulnerable families
  7. Present the family-focused PhD study in a concise and structured format

 Content: The course takes its starting point in an introduction to family-focused assessment and intervention in health science research. Participants will be introduced to the basic concepts of a family-focused approach and presented for the central methodological considerations. During the course, the students will further develop, design, and present their family-focused Ph.D. study. Thereby, be able to identify appropriate family-focused qualitative and quantitative data sources and the strengths and limitations of a family-focused approach. Moreover, students will learn about family-focused values across culture and in vulnerable families. Finally, each student will present their family-focused Ph.D. study in a concise and structured format.

Preparation and homework

  • Each student submits a 1-page abstract of their Ph.D. study (2 weeks before course)
  • During the course the student will further develop, design and present own family-focused PhD study
  • Each student is expected to do assignments for approximately one hour per day and prepare for the course for 8 hours (abstract and reading).


Book: Shajani Z & Snell D, 2019. Wright & Leahey’s Nurses and Families – A guide to family assessment and intervention. 7th edition. F.A. DAVIS. Philadelphia:

  • Chapter 2 Theoretical Foundations of the Calgary family Assessment and Intervention Models, p.21-50
  • Chapter 3 The Calgary Assessment Model, p.51-138
  • Chapter 4 The Calgary Family Intervention Model, p. 139-166
  • Chapter 7 How to Conduct Family Interviews, p.211-240
  • Chapter 9 How to Do a 15-Minute (or shorter) Family Interview, p.255-272


  • The effectiveness of a strengths-oriented therapeutic conversation intervention on perceived support, well-being and burden among family caregivers in palliative home-care. Petursdottir AB, Svavarsdottir EK. J Adv Nurs. 2019 Nov;75(11):3018-3031. doi: 10.1111/jan.14089 (Journal Club)

Additional literature will be referred to and suggested during the course.

Language: English

Head of course: Anne Brødsgaard og Karin Piil

Instructors: Anne Brødsgaard, Karin Piil og Dorthe Nielsen

Time and date: 10 – 12 May 2021 from 9:00 – 16:00

Venue: Online teaching

Participation in the course is without cost for:

  • PhD students, Research Year students and Research Honours Programme students from Aarhus University
  • PhD students enrolled at partner universities of the Nordoc collaboration
  • PhD students from other institutions in the open market agreement for PhD courses

Course dates:

  • 10 May 2021 09:00 - 16:00
  • 11 May 2021 09:00 - 16:00
  • 12 May 2021 09:00 - 16:00