How to Write a Dissertation in Healthcare: Complete Guide

Writing guide
Posted on September 2, 2019

Healthcare is a big and complex industry where people work to help other people get healthy. This rapidly growing field can be a great option for a career if you find technology fascinating, have a passion for science or just want to help people. Many careers in healthcare require a doctoral degree so if you want to pursue one of them, you will need to write a dissertation in healthcare.

A dissertation is a complex piece of writing and many students find it daunting so to help you get started, we created this easy step-by-step guide on how to write a dissertation in healthcare. Keep reading to learn how to choose a good topic, formulate an interesting research question, and write different parts of this lengthy paper. If you need help with other college assignments, we can offer you explore other full guides to all writing assignments out there. Now let’s start with discussing how to select a great topic.

How to Choose an Interesting Topic for Your Dissertation in HealthCare

Choosing a topic for research is one of the most important aspects of the dissertation process. It’s critical to select a topic you are passionate about because you will be immersed in it for at least a few years. That’s why you should start a brainstorming process as early as possible and consider different perspectives on the problems of healthcare.

For example, if you want to pursue a career in healthcare administration field, you should decide which aspects may interest you as a working professional. If you are concerned about the quality of patients care, you can write about robot-assisted surgery, infection prevention or preventive health screenings. If you are interested in staff management or development topics, you may decide to explore cultivating positive workplace environments or ROI of professional development courses. If you are curious about patient experience, you can explore such broad categories as family-centered care or health literacy. As to the category of acute care, your potential topics can be technological platform that help improve patient flow or potential challenges in recognizing rare diseases.

Keep in mind that all the above mentioned topics are too broad so you need to conduct additional research to narrow the chosen topic down and make it manageable and specific. Here are more interesting topics suggestions for writing a dissertation in healthcare for your inspiration.

  • Solutions to Vaccine Hesitancy;
  • Future Health Care Challenges;
  • Ethical Issues of Surrogacy;
  • Health Effects of Medical Marijuana;
  • How Do Anxiety and Depression Affect Physical Health?
  • Palliative Care vs Hospice;
  • The Placebo Effect in Alternative Medicine;
  • Unethical Behavior in Physical Therapy;
  • Effects of Rising Healthcare Costs;
  • Health Insurance for People Living with Diabetes;
  • The Negative Side Effects of the Body Positive Movement;
  • Organ Donation and Transplantation;
  • Australian Healthcare System vs American;
  • Cancer Patient Nutrition during Chemotherapy;
  • Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.

Writing a Research Question for a Dissertation in Healthcare Studies

The research question is one of the most important parts of your healthcare dissertation. The exact shape of your research question greatly depends on the topic and research problem. But make sure that your dissertation question is focused, specific, appropriately complex, and relevant to the issue you are exploring. For example, if you decide to write a dissertation about healthcare waste management for hospitals, your research question may look like this one:

‘What are the determinants of effective implementation of the HCWM systems in reducing, reusing and recycling hospital’s waste?’

Your dissertation in healthcare may have multiple research questions but they all should be clearly connected and focused around a specific central research problem. When developing your research question, you should follow these steps:

  • Select a broad dissertation topic;
  • Do some preliminary research to discover subtopics and specific issues;
  • Narrow your topic down to a specific issue you would like to focus on;
  • Identify the gap in the current research to find a theoretical or practical research problem you want to address;
  • Formulate one or several research questions.

Writing a Research Proposal for Your Dissertation in Healthcare

The dissertation proposal is an important first step towards writing your final dissertation in healthcare. Your proposal has to be unique and it should help you make a clear plan for your dissertation. You need to explain what exactly you want to examine and how you intend to collect and analyze your data. The purpose of writing a research proposal is to justify your research topic, explain how you intend to contribute to existing research and show that you are capable of conducting a scientific research within an acceptable time-frame.

Your dissertation proposal should include several key aspects:

  • Introduction provides background information for your study, indicates the general scope of your research, and gives a brief overview of the sections in your proposal.
  • Problem statement – you need to clearly identify the knowledge gap or that your proposed research is responding to.
  • Purpose/Rationale – you need to explain the objectives of your study (what you are going to find), tell how your approach differs from the previous research, define the research question and limitations of your research, and define important terms.
  • Literature review offers a critical look at the existing research and identifies potential gaps in knowledge.
  • Methodology section explains how the chosen methodological approach fits the overall research design, describes methods for data collection and analyzing the results.
  • Implications – you need to state the significance of the study by discussing contribution you anticipate to make to existing knowledge.
  • Plan of work with timeline – create a schedule with completion dates for specific parts of the dissertation.
  • Bibliography includes key texts that inform your methodology and your study.

How to Write Chapters of Your Dissertation in Healthcare

When the committee approves your research proposal, you can begin your original investigation and document all your findings. After you finish your research, you should start writing your dissertation chapter after chapter. Let’s briefly discuss what you should write about in each of your dissertation chapters.


Abstract is a brief summary of the content of your dissertation in healthcare that also includes the key findings. It should be no longer than 300 words. It summarizes your research and allows other people to get an idea of what you have accomplished without reading the whole dissertation. It allows other people to decide if your dissertation is worth reading. You should tell your readers about your aims and objectives, key methods used to generate results, your main findings and conclusions.


In this chapter, you should set out the background to your investigation and describe your research problem. You need to provide a theoretical argument to justify our study, include theoretical definitions of the key terms, and formulate research questions and hypothesis. Besides, you should include a summary of the content and the key arguments of your dissertation in healthcare.

Literature review

This chapter typically comes after the introduction and includes overview of the previous work done on the subject of your study and anything relevant to your hypothesis and research question. You need to analyze the existing literature and identify gaps in the knowledge, issues, and contradictions. You should also link your research question with the gaps and explain how you are planning to address a particular research gap.


In this chapter, you need to provide an account of your hypothesis and research question and explain what methods of investigation you are going to use. You need to justify the choice of every method, telling about its advantages and disadvantages. Besides, you need to explain why you rejected other methods. Tell readers how you are going to gather data, evaluate it, and ensure the data reliability.


Here you need to present the main findings of your research and tell about the strengths and weaknesses of your data, considering your research question/hypothesis. Besides, you may wish to include an evaluation of variety of difficulties you encountered while collecting and analysing your data. You may want to assess how this affected your research plan. Use charts, diagrams, pie-chars to present your data because they break solid blocks of text and illustrate your points.


In this part of your paper, you present to the reader the outcome of the research. You need to relate your findings to the theoretical discussion in your literature review. It’s important to focus your attention on data that is directly relevant to your dissertation’s research questions. You should avoid the mistake of including analysis of data that might be interesting in a general way. You should apply your analytical and critical thinking skills to analyze your data considering the theoretical arguments grounded in the literature review.


In this chapter, you should assess what you found out and how successful you were in your research. You need to make a statement and explain how your objectives were met. Tell what contribution your research made to the theory. Speak about implications of your results and give some recommendations about future research.

How to Revise Your Dissertation in Healthcare

Revision stage is very important for overall success of your final research project. That’s why as soon as you finish your first draft, you should reread your draft to make use that your dissertation in healthcare is well-organized and well-written with smooth transitions between paragraphs, and relevant evidence that really backs your argument.

You need to check the content and make sure that your argument is complete and your claims are consistent. After that, you need to check overall structure of your final project and see if there are clear transitions between paragraphs. Clarity is a crucial aspect for your readers so you should check if have defined all important terms and chosen proper words to express your ideas. Check if you have used an appropriate style and that your sentences are varied in structure and in length. Make sure that you use the passive voice not too often. Besides, you should eliminate unnecessary phases like ‘due to the fact that, there is’ etc. Check your citations to ensure that you appropriately cited other people’s ideas that you used to support and illustrate your argument. Identify your error patterns and develop special techniques to correcting such errors. When you finish editing revisions, proofread your dissertation in healthcare to fix misspellings and minor grammar and punctuation.

Still not sure where to start when revising your dissertation? Follow these easy tips!

  • First, you should review your paper as a whole and address the big issues. You need to make sure that you have developed a clear argument to answer your research question and that your content matches the title of your dissertation.
  • Then you should review each section and make sure that all points and details are relevant to the title.
  • Now review every paragraph and make sure that it has a topic sentence that presents the idea you want to communicate. Keep in mind that every paragraph needs to have one key idea.
  • Make sure you use transitions such as in contrast to this view, however, furthermore etc. to show how your ideas are connected to one another.
  • The subsequent sentences in your paragraphs may include the development of the main point or its explanation, your own example, a quote from a resource that supports it.
  • Review every sentence and make sure that it is no longer than 3 lines.
  • Read the sentences aloud one by one and check the punctuation.
  • Eliminate wordiness by cutting out unnecessary words.
  • Finally, check spelling and pay special attention to the use of capital letters in the key names and theories.

We hope that our step-by-step guide on how to write a dissertation in healthcare will help you stay confident and motivated to complete this extended piece of writing and make a great impression on your committee. The key to success of your study is to follow our recommendations and to work consistently to ensure that you meet the necessary timelines.

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