Health research is the science and art of studying the distribution and determinants of the health status of the people as influenced by social, economic and physical environments, human biology, health policy, and services.
Health research also provides ways and means to prevent diseases, prolong the longevity of life, and promoting health at the community levels by enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system as an integral part of the overall process of socio-economic development.
The health research attempts to describe what people believe and what they know about health and illness and what they do to remain healthy and cure diseases.
Data are gathered from health-related sectors that include, among others, the agricultural and food distribution, education (formal and non-formal), water and sanitation, and transport and communication.
All these sectors contribute to health, either directly or indirectly. In recent years, health research has been integrated with family planning research.
The sole purpose of research in these areas is to disseminate the findings of the studies to the policy-planners, program managers, researchers, and other professionals involved in population and health services for promotion of reproductive health and family planning program.
We cite some examples below that demonstrate this research.
Examples of Social research
Example #1: (Reproductive Health)
Despite the fact that trained traditional birth attendants (TBA) are readily available in rural areas for safe delivery, only around 20% of the home deliveries are attended by the trained TBAs.
It is thus imperative to identify the reasons why the adult members do not avail of this opportunity. To investigate this, a study is to be designed.
Example #2: (General Health)
Obesity plays a role in the development of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, and several kinds of cancers. A significant portion of the population is obese in the country.
Higher prevalence rates are seen in specific subgroups of the population, including the middle-aged (35-64).
However, little is known of the differences in weight patterns between males and females and that among the adolescents. A study is needed to investigate the issue in question.
Example #3: (Nutritional Health)
Adulteration of food with toxic chemicals is practiced on a large scale in almost all the developing countries of the world- The practice of food adulteration and deceiving the customers is rampant in Bangladesh.
It is tough to find a sector of the food industry that is free of malpractices. Keeping this context in view, a study was conducted to ascertain the level of knowledge prevalent among both the consumers and food sellers regarding food adulteration.
This survey was conducted by the Center of Excellence of the World University of Bangladesh in Dhaka city among 72 food sellers and 460 consumers. The cross-sectional study design was followed in implementing the study.