The objectives of the division encompasses population health, non-communicable diseases, tobacco control, public health nutrition and maternal and child health. This is the most diversified division, working in line with the mandates of the Institute. Researchers from a diverse background including medical, social and basic sciences represent the division. Considering the exceptional demographic and epidemiological changes along with the rapid shifts in lifestyle with the influence of urbanization, physical mobility, and technological advancements, a multidisciplinary and holistic population-based research approach is pivotal. One of the major thrust approaches of this division is to conduct population-based research to understand the interplay between health-wellbeing, population characteristics, and health system. We strongly believe that any population health and wellbeing related policies would be unsustainable without addressing the individual, household and societal preferences and dynamics.
Key Thrust Areas
Population Health Disparities: Merely achieving average improvement in health and wellbeing would be misleading considering the huge diversity of the Indian population based on age, gender, social, economic, cultural, behavioural and regional identities. In this regard, the division aims to reduce disparities by understanding the nuances of NCDs including cancer through research and education by developing relevant interventions and policies. Thus, the division focuses on examining the critical pathways between social/population-level factors and cancer-related behaviour and disease through a team of researchers with appropriate expertise and collaborations.
Socio-Behavioural Research: The main focus is to promote a healthy lifestyle including proper diet, nutrition, and physical exercise and encourage changes to reduce risk of NCDs across different populations. Research on development of socio-behavioural sciences knowledge base in cancer and other NCDs along with the development of behavioural change intervention (BCI) models, its implementation, evaluation, and dissemination are the main strategies.
Health Systems Research: To advance both observational and interventional research on inter-linkages between structural, institutional, social and behavioural dimensions that influence NCDs and cancer care – from early detection through the end of life. Specific research areas are contextual factors, such as organizational or community norms; quality of care delivery including safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, efficiency, timeliness and equality; effective delivery by community-based health care providers and health care delivery organizations for NCDs and cancer-related health services; theory-based multilevel behavioural interventions in screening, diagnosis, and advanced cancer care and other chronic diseases; studies of the interactions between patients, caregivers and their health care providers.