Kliniken & Institute … Institute Heidelberger Institut… Groups & Projects Working Groups Climate Change and… Research Methods

Research Methods


What methods does our group use?  

Wherever possible, we strive to mix quantitative and qualitative methods either sequentially or simultaneously to enhance the plausibility of our findings. Quantitative methods are generally good at answering the questions: How much? How different, while qualitative ones shed light into the questions of Why? and How?

1. Quantitative Methods

  • Time-series-analysis, (TSA) in particular distributed lag non-linear time series analysis
  • Bayesian Belief Networks (BBN)
  • Classical regression modelling: linear, logit, probit, mulinomial
  • Remote sensing based on MODIS, Sentinel2 or SPOT5 Satellites (in collaboration with the geography department and a private company)
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Meteorological data analysis
  • Modeling climate- health impact functions based on retrospective decade long weather and health data
  • Use of climate models (different Concentration Pathways (RCPs), adapting the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)
  • Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems, developing an integrated empirical health outcome metric for life lived with diseases and life lost to premature mortality. Moreover, the measure will be without seasonal bias.
  • Verbal autopsy
  • Cross sectional household surveys
  • Cluster randomized community trials
  • Likert scores or visual analogue scales for quantifying answers.
  • Quantitative text analysis for legal texts on climate change (to assess whether or not health arguments are invoked).

2. Qualitative Method

We try wherever possible link qualitative to our quantitative research. Either carrying it out BEFORE the quantitative study as formative, hypothesis generating research. Or afterwards, looking at deeper understanding of answers or behavior (meaning and perception). We use NVivio software to analyze qualitative data.

  • In-depth qualitative interviews
  • Focus group interviews
  • Mixed methods
  • Visual analogue scales