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Relational Health Group

The Relational Health Research Group understands health as an emergent behaviour of the relations within systems and their environments.

We have developed a relational approach to create the conditions for health and reducing health inequalities which starts with understanding the local, dynamic context and how it supports or hinders health and wellbeing and then co-creates ways of addressing these issues as well as evaluating the subsequent outcomes.

Principles underpinning our relational approach

  • Our ethos is to ‘work with’ people rather than ‘do to’ or research ‘on’
  • To involve people whose lives are affected by the issues as partners throughout the research process
  • To understand the relational nature of the conditions which give rise to the issues  as a means of addressing the issues rather than focusing on trying to affect an individual’s  behaviours
  • Health creating conditions can only be created when the nature of the barriers to health and wellbeing have to be determined from within the system rather than externally imposed on to the system
  • Addressing the social, political and economic conditions which create health inequalities requires transformative ways of working which are in partnership with local communities
  • Our research approaches embrace rather than ignore the complex nature of systems