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Major new report outlines how social science can improve population health

April 6, 2017

London, UK. Better integration of the social and behavioural sciences within healthcare is needed to tackle the challenges of improving population health in the United Kingdom, argues a major new report from the Campaign for Social Science (CfSS) published by SAGE.

The Health of People claims an over-reliance on ‘common sense’ and limited evidence about how to change behaviour compromises improvements in health prevention and delivery in the National Health Service (NHS).

The report argues that biomedical science can’t tackle the challenges facing the NHS alone. Social science understanding of the social and economic factors of ill health, the costs and benefits of clinical interventions, and how to change people’s habits are essential to healthcare today.

Compiled by an expert Working Group of leading social science academics and practitioners from across the UK, the Health of People comes as pressures on the NHS to deal with an ageing population, growing rates of obesity and a rise in long term chronic conditions continue to mount.

Commenting on the new publication, SAGE’s President, Global Publishing, and CfSS Board member Ziyad Marar remarked:

“The Health of People is a great example of how social science can and should be used to shape public policy decisions. As long standing advocates of the social sciences, SAGE is proud to have worked so closely with the Campaign to publish this timely report.” 

James Wilsdon, CfSS Chair further commented:

“The social sciences play a vital role in improving population health. But all too often their potential remains untapped. If we are really serious about relieving pressure on our NHS and healthcare system, we need to take full advantage of all that the social sciences have to offer. From exploring how to design more effective interventions, to strategies for influencing health related behaviours, the Health of People makes a compelling case for how to make improvements across the board.”

Find out more about the report here, and watch two introductory videos to the report here and here

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The Health of People is the latest report from the Campaign for Social Science, and follows the Business of People published by SAGE in 2015. It was supported by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the British Psychological Society, Cancer Research UK, the Society for the Study of Addiction, and Wellcome Trust.

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Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.

The Academy of Social Sciences’ Campaign for Social Science was launched to raise the profile of social science in the public, media and Parliament. Its activities include lobbying government, organising events, promoting social sciences in the media and monitoring the health of academia in the UK.

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