Causal narratives in public health: the difference between mechanisms of aetiology and mechanisms of prevention in non-communicable diseases
Sociology of Health and Illness
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Kelly, M., & Russo, F. (2018). Causal narratives in public health: the difference between mechanisms of aetiology and mechanisms of prevention in non-communicable diseases. Sociology of Health and Illness https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.10908
Research in the health sciences has been highly successful in revealing the aetiologies of many morbidities, particularly those involving the microbiology of communicable disease. This success has helped form a narrative to be found in numerous public health documents, about interventions to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (e.g., obesity or alcohol related pathologies). These focus on tackling the purported pathogenic factors causing the diseases as a means of prevention. In this paper, we argue that this approach has been sub-optimal. The mechanisms of aetiology and of prevention are sometimes significantly different and failure to make this distinction has hindered efforts at preventing non-communicable diseases linked to diet, exercise and alcohol consumption. We propose a sociological approach as an alternative based on social practice theory.
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (UK), grant number AH/M005917/1 (“Evaluating Evidence in Medicine”). Grant held by the University of Kent and UCL
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.10908
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/265143