Public Health Research

Public Health research aims to contribute to the understanding of the factors or determinants that influence the health of the whole population, whether biological, behavioural, social, or environmental.

Following a prevention-based logic, it aims to identify the causes of disease and propose interventions to address them.

The ultimate goal is to improve the health and well-being of the population, while contributing to reduce health inequalities and help save lives.

To illustrate:

Rather than putting its focus on studying the treatment of children born with low birth weight, Public Health research seeks to study the links between the individual characteristics of the mother – such as age, smoking, exposure to violence, among others – and factors such as healthcare access or the socioeconomic context in which she lives, in order to produce evidence that helps to better inform health policies and organise health services in this area.

A multidisciplinary and cross-sectional approach

To be able to understand the determinants and factors that influence the health of the population, Public Health brings together the experience and knowledge of professionals from areas as diverse as:

  • Biostatistics
  • Human and social sciences
  • Environmental sciences
  • Nutrition and obesity
  • Non-communicable and infectious diseases

How research is done

Research is often carried out using population samples, according to the outlined research goals. The main tools used by researchers are:

  • cohort studies
  • case-control studies
  • cross-sectional studies
  • morbidity and mortality registries
  • administrative databases from clinical records

The knowledge that arises from this research is intended to be a useful tool for the organization and planning of health policies and services.

Consult the research developed at ISPUP here.