Unit | Society, Gender and Health

Social, cultural and gender-related issues are central to effective disease control and achieving public health aims. The unit conducts research on gender and health, medical anthropology and cultural epidemiology, among others. These topics represent key aspects of the health social sciences and acknowledge the importance of gender as a critical determinant of health.

Gender and Health

Current gender and health research focuses on how gender shapes health status and accesa to health care. We conceputalise gender as a socio-cultural health determinant and examine, for example, cultural drivers and barriers affecting access to services for patients with HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, we address sex/gender-related factors in epidemiological models of non-communicable diseases.

Medical Anthropology

The medical anthropology research emphasises an actor approach to studying health and illness. We have developed vulnerability and resilience models, including a multi-layered framework to guide research, and we build capacity to increase social health protection and access to services in adverse urban and rural African settings.

Sonja Merten

Sonja Merten, MD, PD, PhD, MPH

Accordini S et al. Incidence trends of airflow obstruction among European adults without asthma: a 20-year cohort study. Sci Rep. 2020;10:3452. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-60478-5

Adair T et al. Where there is no hospital: improving the notification of community deaths. BMC Med. 2020;18:65. DOI: 10.1186/s12916-020-01524-x

Aebi N.J, Bringolf-Isler B, Schaffner E, Caviezel S, Imboden M, Probst-Hensch N. Patterns of cross-sectional and predictive physical activity in Swiss adults aged 52+: results from the SAPALDIA cohort. Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20266. DOI: 10.4414/smw.2020.20266

Agrawala S et al. Call for comments: climate and clean air responses to covid-19. Int J Public Health. 2020;65:525-528. DOI: 10.1007/s00038-020-01394-3

Ahmed N et al. The impact of rehabilitation-oriented virtual reality device in patients with ischemic stroke in the early subacute recovery phase: Study protocol for a phase III, single-blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trial. J Cent Nerv Syst Dis. 2020;12:1179573519899471. DOI: 10.1177/1179573519899471