Public Health Social Scientists’ group
We are a group with varied disciplinary backgrounds including sociology, anthropology, psychology, social policy and political science, undertaking research into a wide range of public health issues.
Located within the Centre for Public Health we conduct research into the health of the population with the aim of promoting and protecting health and well-being, preventing ill-health and reducing health inequities.
We use methods and theories from social science to explore individual and group health behaviours and the ways in which these are influenced by the wider social, physical, political and economic environment.
Our research draws on qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and a key feature of our approach is the integration of both types of methods and data to improve public health knowledge. We do this, in particular, by embedding process evaluations within randomised controlled trials testing the effectiveness of public health improvement interventions and by systematically reviewing quantitative and qualitative evidence.
We have methodological expertise in: in-depth interviewing; focus groups; ethnography; interviewing elites; policy analysis; qualitative evidence synthesis; meta-ethnography; process evaluation; mixed-methods research; and reviewing and synthesising sociological theories.
We work closely with other research groups within the School of Social and Community Medicine, as well as colleagues from other departments within the University of Bristol (such as the School for Policy Studies). We also collaborate with other many other universities, including through our involvement in DECIPHer and the NIHR SPHR) and work in partnership with public and third sector organisations (such as Bristol Health Partners, Bristol City Council, Public Health England, Action on Smoking and Health).
Harriet Batista Ferrer