When we think about the health of humanity, we often think about ill-health. Traditionally, many approaches to ill health are rooted in a biomedical model (what are the symptoms, what is wrong with the body and how do we fix it). This is central to pathogenesis (the study of how we get ill). However, we believe that salutogenesis (the study of what keeps us well) is of equal if not greater importance. We sit at the very confluence between pathogenesis and salutogenesis.
By investigating all of the factors that can affect human health, from socio-economic status, to psychosocial factors, through the environment, faith, familial structure, dependants and so many more issues, we can build a picture evidencing the role that each of these have in “the Picture of Health” of individuals, communities and societies. We can look for malleable factors and track how making small and big changes to how we live impacts our collective health and wellbeing. Further still, by understanding how our place in the world and our experience of health affects our bodies, we can begin to predict individual and societal health issues, wit the ultimate aim of arresting their progress.
Finally, in cases of ill-health, we can evidence the efficacy of treatments not based merely on the biomedical model but also the socio-environmental model we have built through our understanding of people, their place, and how they live. By targeting treatments to those for whom they will work, we provide an evidence base to assist in clinical or policy decision making, improving efficacy, and process in a purpose-built manner.
Here are links to our most recent Annual Reports; please contact us for earlier editions back to 2003.
Find out more about the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing.
Durham University Queen's Campus University Boulevard Thornaby Stockton on Tees TS17 6BH
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