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Interdisciplinary Health Studies (BSIHS and Global Health)

This guide is designed to support the programs specific to global and international health.

Considerations for building a research question:

  1. What is the broad topic? (Problem)
    • Ex. clean drinking water
  2. Who does it impact? Or who could it impact? (Population)
    • Everyone, so I am not too picky here. But maybe later I may want to be more specific, i.e. children
  3. What about it? (Control)
    • Policy changes
  4. When does this matter? At what time are you interested in this topic? (Time)
    • Last five years
  5. Where do you want to focus? (Location)
    • Flint Michigan

What policies have been made in response to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan to ensure clean drinking water for the citizens? What future policies should be considered?

WHO: Public health, environmental and social determinants of health TOPICS

WHO Topics for public health, environmental health, and social determinants of heath.

According to the CDC Prevention Status Report of 2016, the 10 most important public health problems and concerns are (listed alphabetically):

  • Alcohol-related harms
  • Food safety
  • Healthcare-associated infections
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • HIV
  • Motor vehicle injury
  • Nutrition, physical activity and obesity
  • Prescription drug overdose
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Tobacco use

Suggestions for future topics - Globalization and Health (Journal)

Table below is generated from Martin, G., MacLachlan, M., Labonté, R., Larkan, F., Vallières, F., & Bergin, N. (2016). Globalization and Health: developing the journal to advance the field. Globalization and Health, 12(1), 6.

Suggestions for future themes within Globalization and Health, reflecting the anticipated development of the field over the next decade.
Mental Health An important emerging field in global health discourse. The journal has had five publications thus far with mental health as the primary research topic. While mental health may be covered under the general term ‘NCD’ its focus within ‘Globalization and Health’ has not been as substantial as other NCD areas.
Human Resources The death of human resources for health continues to act as one of the most important barriers to achieving health for all. As both the HIV and Ebola epidemics demonstrated, the absence of trained health workers, especially front-line health workers, exacerbate the spread of epidemics. This migration of health personnel, mostly from poor countries to rich countries is facilitated by an increasingly globalized world.
Health technology Advancements in technology (e.g. eHealth, mHealth, telemedicine, assistive products and medical devices) have created immense promise for a more efficient and inclusive delivery of health care. To be effective however, technology must also be accompanied by a capable and motivated user, and an effective system of support and maintenance, where appropriate.
Gender, equity and human
Human rights, including the ‘right to health’, have not been prominent in the journal, with only 2 publications coded as having human rights as a main theme. This is somewhat surprising given that the WHO Constitution ‘enshrines the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being’. This theme includes global health law and treaties that impact on human rights.
Migration Issues surrounding migration, such as the brain drain and sexual violence against migrants have featured thus far in the journal. Health access and issues faced by migrants have also been explored. Climate change and natural resource depletion are expected to increasingly drive migration, both of which have inherently global causes and consequences.
Sustainable development goals Research in the journal thus far has reviewed health systems in relation to the MDG, where papers have highlighted the top down approach taken to their establishment and the difficulties in implementing them in the global south [8, 68]. The SDGs present a new opportunity to encourage research with a different emphasis, particularly on coherence (or incoherence) between the different goals, their measurement, government accountability for compliance and global financing for the SDGs.
Intercultural aspects of global
The journal has yet to include much on pluralist health environments and the complexities that such environments pose for practitioners. The role of traditional health knowledge, the role of traditional health practices and practitioners, cultural and communicative competency in delivering international health programs, protection of cultural health knowledge, differential health risks of indigenous populations.
Transnational corporations and
The size and reach of transnational corporations has been one of the dominant features of contemporary globalization. Health benefits via economic growth and employment are offset by the diffusion of hazardous products and the environmental and social damages associated with extractive industries. Attempts to regulate their practices have been countered by claims of voluntary corporate social responsibility. Some attention to these issues has been given in this journal, but more is needed as the global health influence of these corporations continues to rise.
Health and global security A dominating concern in global health is that of health security, reducing the risk of novel pathogens and the rise and spread of antimicrobial resistant diseases. The journal has paid some attention to this aspect of health and global security. But health is also affected by other security issues, ranging from regional conflicts and their causes, the ‘war on terror’, and the health opportunity costs of militarization. Health has also been mooted as a ‘peace dividend’ in conflict areas, while international health work in conflict areas or fragile states poses particular challenges.