Section of Social Medicine – University of Copenhagen

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Social medicine is a core discipline within public health. At the Section of Social Medicine, we investigate life course social, psychosocial, psychological, physiological and behavioural determinants of health and function, as well as the socioeconomic consequences of disease and functional decline, with a focus on social inequality. 

We address current societal challenges such as: health problems in socially vulnerable population groups and neighbourhoods, functional limitations and multi-morbidity in the ageing population, health consequences of psychosocial stressors in the working environment and private life, inequity in the use of health services and rehabilitation and consequences of infertility and fertility treatment. Further, we develop and employ a wide variety of epidemiological, psychometric, demographic and qualitative methods in population and patient based cohort studies and in intervention studies. Data sources include comprehensive surveys, clinical and register data, qualitative research interviews and fieldwork, as well as high resolution mobile phone derived data. 

Complex interventions based on detailed knowledge about target populations and their needs, are executed to develop co-created solutions to important societal challenges. Furthermore, the section conducts evaluations of the implementation and outcomes of these interventions using a mixed method research approach. The section quantifies and compares the expected health consequences of major policy initiatives and interventions also from a clinical perspective. 

Our research identifies potential action points for organized societal efforts limiting further health deterioration and social adversities. We continuously contribute to the development of health promotion, prevention and rehabilitation nationally and internationally. In line with the University’s 2023 strategy, we collaborate closely with a number of international research environments, Danish municipalities, regions and stakeholders to increase the societal impact of our research findings. 

The Section of Social Medicine is responsible for pre- and postgraduate level courses in Social Epidemiology, Medical Sociology, Prevention, Health Promotion and Rehabilitation, Clinical Social Medicine and Intervention and Evaluation Methods.