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Lifelong Health and Wellbeing

Our vision is to enable people from all communities to thrive in every aspect of and at all stages of their lives.

We work closely with individuals, groups and communities in both the UK and overseas so that we can understand the factors which affect their quality of life in terms of their physical, mental and social health and wellbeing. We develop and evaluate solutions to these issues based on evidence, and this helps us find innovations in practice and policy, which enables us to develop new treatments and other interventions, which can transform people’s lives.

Areas of Research Strength

Green wheat growing in a field

Applied Public Health

Research in applied public health covers elements of health protection and health promotion. This research also links with the UCLan Research Themes for Sustainability, Business and Enterprise and People, Place and Environment. It spans nutrition and food safety and the promotion of improved health and wellbeing.

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Abstract artwork depicting a web of connections between different people

Ethics and Justice

Justice, equity and fairness are values that humans have aspired to throughout the ages and across the world. Yet, how to make research itself and societies at large fairer and more ethical requires sophisticated interdisciplinary work and sustained, long-term engagement with research beneficiaries. Our reputation in this field means we are invited to work with the World Health Organisation, UNESCO and many international government advisory bodies.

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Active Lancashire and UCLan healthy employees project

Health Education Research

For the past two decades, there have been calls for health education to become more evidence-based. This has been interpreted by some as a lack of understanding of social science methodology and outcomes, but there is some truth to these concerns. There has been poor use of methodologies that cannot hope to answer the research questions set. Our research, which cuts across multiple disciplines involving educational experts and social scientists, means we are well placed to deliver innovative and high quality works.

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Health Services Research

This is about the delivery of healthcare services in terms of access, effectiveness, quality, use and costs. It is multidisciplinary, meaning we can draw upon and produce new knowledge about the contexts, processes and outcomes of health services, both for individuals and the wider population. Academics in this area are researchers in stroke care, rehabilitation and prevention; and cancer care, improvement of lives post-diagnosis and treatment. We work with a range of clinical partners in the NHS.

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Abstract artwork depicting a strand of DNA alongside pills, medicines and other health technology

Health Technology Assessment

Our academics come from a wide range of research groups across the university, with expertise in the methodology and conduct of evidence syntheses – the process of bringing together information from a range of sources and disciplines to inform debates and decisions on specific issues. This includes systematic reviews, economic evaluations and information science, clinical trials and health implementation science. By working together we can support decision-making about the clinical and cost effectiveness and use of new and existing interventions in health and social care. We work with many NHS Trusts and are members of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) College of Experts and Clinical Studies groups.

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Midwife leans down to comfort a young child looking up at her

Maternal and Child Health

Our research in this area benefits from knowledge across many fields, with specific expertise in Maternal and Child Nutrition, Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), Breastfeeding, Perinatal Mental Health, Childbirth and Global Midwifery Practices Evaluation and Research. We work with a range of organisations on projects for the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, the NHS, the Wellcome Trust and many more. Our aim is to support the lives of children, parents, families and systems that can facilitate and improve health and wellbeing.

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Mental Health

Mental Health research at UCLan is informed by academics with the knowledge and expertise from across the university whose aim is to inform new developments in practice. We wish to enable people to think critically about the huge variety of experiences of people experiencing mental distress in the context of the criminal justice system. A key aspect of our research involves working with vulnerable people and communities, mental health in ageing populations, coercion and safety, service user involvement and partnership working.

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Researchers working in a neuroscience lab

Neurosciences

This encompasses a broad range of research from the molecular to clinical, from research into aptamers to concussion from sports. Our goal is to be internationally recognised in 3 areas: neuro-oncology, dementia and neurodegeneration; and molecular psychiatry. Our academics range from biomedical scientists through to pharmaceutics and clinicians. We do significant collaboration with Brain Tumour North West and are invited to give lectures at events and institutions around the world.

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Social workers smiling at a conference event

Social Work and Social Policy

Our research in social work and social policy is innovative and benefits from expertise across many fields, with a strong commitment to reflecting the realities of people’s lives and providing a foundation for development of policy and practice. We work with arts organisations, museums and public institutions of health, welfare and security. We aim to inform policy and practice and are also closely involved with our Criminal Justice Partnership, leading in the area of Youth Justice.

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Female athlete on a couch talking to colleagues during sports rehabilitation

Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Researchers in the area of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation can be lab-based or field-based, working in local practices in the UK or with large international organisations. Our multidisciplinary research teams are internationally renowned in the fields of health, rehabilitation, sports performance, sport and exercise, sports coaching, sport and humanities, physical education, and strength and conditioning. We develop and evaluate the effectiveness of products designed to interact with the body, and the effectiveness of surgical and therapeutic treatments. We work with institutions at home and abroad to ensure quantifiable impact and outcomes, working with a variety of sports teams such as Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club and British Cycling.

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Scientist looking into a microscope in neuroscience lab

Translational Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical sciences encompasses various disciplines including pathology, medical microbiology, clinical biochemistry and haematology and transfusion sciences. To address such disciplines different applied and translational sciences have emerged and we have several active research teams working at the cutting edge of these areas. Our main focus is to take laboratory research into applications which will benefit medical professionals in the clinic and in healthcare.

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Lab work with microscopes

Translational Clinical Sciences

Here we actively support collaborative research between the University and health care organisations. We have internationally recognised expertise in Clinical Sciences and Clinical Medicine. Research topics include: concussion, cancer, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary diseases, infectious diseases, genetics, gastroenterology, intellectual disability and education. We have a new group – Biomedical Evidence Synthesis and Translation (BEST) – which is a contributor to two international networks, Cochrane and Best Evidence Medical Education Collaboration.

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