Areas of Research

Health Promotion & Socio-behavioural Health Sciences

What is health promotion and socio-behavioural health?

Health promotion and socio-behavioural health involves investigating the how the actions of individuals, groups, organizations and communities promote health, prevent disease and foster informed decision-making on health risks.

What are we doing in the area of health promotion and socio-behavioural health?

Since 1996, we have offered internationally-recognized training programs though the Centre for Health Promotion Studies, now known as the Centre for Healthy Communities. The centre has established itself as a Canadian leader in research on socio-behavioural aspects of health. Our area is explicitly interdisciplinary in its research focus, and draws on theories and perspectives from sociology, psychology, geography, education, political science, communication studies, social ecology, and anthropology.

Methodologically, we are committed to a balanced perspective that includes descriptive qualitative work, participatory approaches, as well as population surveys and randomized efficacy and effectiveness trials. We offer research-intensive students extensive opportunities to work with faculty who provide mentorship in a variety of theoretical and empirical approaches.

What is the focus of our research?

Faculty interests are focused on prevention of a variety of common chronic diseases, including obesity, cancer, addictions and other mental health conditions. We also investigate dynamics of community responses to health threats, and the social and political dimensions of health systems and services. 

  • Candace Nykiforuk is an applied researcher, which means that community impact (or “making a real difference in the community”) is as important to her as scholarly impact.

    She is the lead investigator of the Policy, Location and Access in Community Environments (PLACE) Research Lab. This group investigate relationships between people-policy-place by developing, evaluating and mobilizing evidence about population health interventions and other strategies that promote lifelong health and chronic disease prevention.

  • From 2013-16, Kim Raine directed Policy Opportunity Windows, Enhancing Research Uptake in Practice—or Power Up! She led a team of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers who have come together to gather and share evidence on chronic disease prevention with Canadians—all in one place.

    Currently, she is the scientific director of the Centre for Health and Nutrition (CHaN). This group creates and uses evidence to influence food systems, nutrition policy and practice. CHaN supports the development and offering of research-based continuing professional education and connect researchers to user communities through outreach and advocacy. 
  • Cameron Wild is the nominated principal investigator for the Prairie node of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM). CRISM ’s overall objective is to translate evidence-based interventions for substance misuse into clinical practice, community-based prevention, harm reduction, and health system changes. The intent is to support the creation of more effective, personal, and adoptable intervention programs and services.