Dimensions of Health Research
Health research pursues two major cognitive interests: on the one hand, health research can raise the question of the somatogenic causes of, and therapeutic cures for diseases. This orientation usually corresponds to the cognitive interest of natural-science-based biomedical and clinical research. On the other hand, health research can also raise the question of the social and ecological conditions for staying healthy and preventing disease. This is the field called public health. The following two questions point to the difference in their respective cognitive orientations. Natural-science-based medicine asks: How can I know and recognize as early as possible that someone is suffering from a disease, and what can we then do in order to stop or reverse the process of disease? In contrast, public health research asks: Under what conditions do humans remain healthy or does the incidence of important diseases drop, and what can we do in order to establish or maintain these conditions for as many people as possible?4
KeywordsHealth Research Public Health Research Strategic Orientation Strategic Research Select Committee
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