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Health disparities

Research expertise in health disparities and inequalities in New Zealand, and beyond, is a key strength of our public health research departments, and a number of research groups.

Visit the listings of our research groups below, or check out our featured projects.
Featured research projects

The Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme (BODE3)

BODE3 research team thumbnailThe Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme has an aim to build capacity and academic rigour in New Zealand in the estimation of disease burden, cost-effectiveness and equity impacts of proposed interventions, and undertake a range of such assessments. It is a Health Research Council (HRC) funded programme, from 2010 to 2015. Major collaborative partners include the University of Queensland and the Ministry of Health.

Email hilary.day@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/wellington/publichealth/research/bode3

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Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group

Di's research team thumbnailThe Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group is a collaborative group of researchers working at the interface between public health, health services research, and clinical medicine. Our work includes a range of projects aimed at reducing the impact of cancer and chronic conditions on population health and health inequalities through policy and health system change.

Email jason.gurney@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/wellington/publichealth/research/cancercontrol

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Cancer Society Research Collaboration

Children gathered in a huddle thumbWe aim to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer in New Zealand, and to reduce cancer-related inequalities.

We work in close coordination with the Cancer Society of New Zealand to prioritise the research we conduct, disseminate our findings, and advocate for world-leading cancer prevention, care and support.

Our partners include Massey University, Michigan State University, The University of Melbourne, and Victoria University of Wellington.

Email louise.signal@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/cancer-society-research

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Centre for International Health

children in village thumbnail

The Centre for International Health facilitates and promotes research to contribute to the understanding and improvement of health in under-resourced countries, and focuses on postgraduate training and strategic mentorship of leaders.

Email cih@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/internationalhealth

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Centre for Pacific Health

Pacific wooden pots on blue cloth thumbThe Centre for Pacific Health is home to a dedicated team of Pacific and non-Pacific researchers working in areas of importance to Pacific communities in New Zealand and internationally.

Pacific health is a holistic concept that encompasses broader ideas on well-being to encompass physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. With more than 20 different cultures captured under the umbrella of ‘Pacific’, there are unique approaches to health that mean health care, health systems and health services can be enriched with further understanding of Pacific-specific approaches to health.

Email centre.pacifichealth@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/centre-pacific-health

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Child Health Research at Otago

Child in red shirt thumbnailChild Health Research at Otago gathers together the research expertise and activities of scientists investigating health issues primarily affecting our youngest New Zealanders.

We also partner with a wide range of stakeholders, communities, institutions, and nations beyond New Zealand to collaborate on health issues of global significance.

Explore our child health research:

Email healthsciences.research@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/child-health-research

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Department of Population Health, University of Otago, Christchurch

Eye glasses on a pile of books thumbnail Research in our Department draws from a broad range of disciplines, all of which are essential to addressing public health issues.

Our department embraces the significant overlap and synergy between the groupings represente in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Environment and Health, Social Science, Humanities and Health.

Research focus:

  • The marginalisation of vulnerable populations
  • Public health economics
  • Quality and safety in health care
  • Infectious disease
  • Surveillance and management
  • Food environments
  • Hauora Māori
  • Health professionals
  • Health promotion
  • Public health pedagogy

Methodological expertise:

  • Epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Kaupapa Māori
  • A range of qualitative methods

Email publichealth.uoc@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/populationhealth

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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine

Field of lupin flowers thumbnailWe work to understand why some people are healthy and some are not, how to prevent illness and injury, how people's health can be improved through working with communities, how political systems and health organisations affect health, and other issues relating to the health of populations.

Email preventive-medicine@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/dsm-psm

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Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington

Wellington harbour view thumbnail

The research groups within the Department of Public Health at our Wellington campus carry out a range of research on critical public health issues. These include cancer and screening, healthy eating, health services research and prioritisation, housing, sustainability and the environment, inequalities, infectious diseases, Māori health and tobacco.

Email publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/wellington/publichealth/research

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Health Environment and Infection Research Unit (HEIRU)

Blue bacteria thumbnailThe Health, Environment and Infection Research Unit is a collaboration of researchers focused on the impact of infectious diseases and adverse environmental factors on population health. We use a range of research methods to investigate these health concerns; to identify effective interventions to reduce the burden of disease and inequalities; and to support the move to greater environmental sustainability. HEIRU aims to provide evidence-based recommendations and advice to support New Zealand and international agencies and practitioners in their disease prevention and control activities.

Email michael.baker@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/wellington/publichealth/research/heiru

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Healthier Lives National Science Challenge

Family on the beach thumbnailThe Healthier Lives National Science Challenge is a national research collaboration dedicated to achieving healthier lives for all New Zealanders.

We are working on the prevention and treatment of four of New Zealand’s main non-communicable diseases.

Disease focus:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Our mission is to deliver the right prevention to the right population and the right treatment to the right patient. We plan to do this in partnership with stakeholders and communities by generating world class research, and translating our research findings into innovative health policy, practice, and technology, designed for New Zealand’s unique communities.

Email healthier.lives@otago.ac.nz

Web healthierlives.co.nz

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Māori Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI)

Research volunteer having an echocardiogramThe Māori Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI) undertakes and supports research that explores Māori health inequities and building excellence in research evidence that contributes to Māori health advancement.

Research topics:

  • Medical education research
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart Health: The Hauora Manawa community heart study
  • Respiratory disease
  • Mental health
  • Community service

Email mihi.uoc@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/christchurch/departments/mihi

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Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit

Kaka (bird) in a forest thumbnailThe Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit is a partnership between Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Dunedin School of Medicine of the University of Otago. The Unit collects, collates, interprets and publishes information, data and statistics on Māori health issues.

Email emma.wyeth@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/dsm/ngaitahu

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Mental Health Research at Otago

line up of people thumbMental health is a broad and complex issue facing New Zealanders – and a research strength of the University of Otago. This website brings together our investigators and teams contributing to New Zealand's research achievement in the field of mental health.

Explore our mental health research:

Email healthsciences.research@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/mental-health-research

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Otago Global Health Institute (OGHI)

Gambia village imageWe aim to improve global health and save lives, by identifying and evaluating solutions to important health problems in low-resource settings.

We work to address the world's most pressing health problems through research collaborations with low- and middle-income countries, and with disadvantaged groups in New Zealand.

We draw upon New Zealand's unique connections with Asia and the Pacific. Our extensive international partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaborations enable us to carry out innovative and rigorous research to advance global health.

Email jacqui.hadingham@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/global-health

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Pacific Health Research at Otago

Pacific floral garlandTalofa lava, kia orana, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, bula vinaka, malo ni, halo ola keta, mauri, fakatalofa atu, and warm Pacific greetings!

We're celebrating our Pacific health research in the Division of Health Sciences.

Learn about what's going on in Pacific health research, how we can support researchers, and where to start if you're excited about research.

Email pirssu@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/pacific-health-research

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Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora A Eru Pōmare

Wellington harbour thumbnailTe Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare strives to create a Kaupapa Māori space committed to improving Māori health outcomes and eliminating inequalities through quality science and ongoing theoretical development. It takes a rights-based approach consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi, and is engaged with community through a spectrum of influence from community development, policy advocacy, research dissemination and Māori health research workforce development.

Email bridget.robson@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/wellington/publichealth/research/erupomare

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Featured research projects

Dental disadvantage

Jonathan Broadbent thumbnail

Associate Professor Jonathan Broadbent discusses the results – and long-term implications – of dental data gathered by the Dunedin Study.

Heart of the family

Allamanda Faatoese thumbnail

The Pasifika Heart Study aims to find out how the risk profile of South Island-based Pacific Islanders differs from those living in Auckland.

Taking action

Anaru Waa thumbnail

Te Ara Auahi Kore (TAKe) is a new research programme seeking to understand – and reduce – disproportionately high rates of smoking among Māori.

Inequalities in testicular cancer

OSSCR Jason Gurney tn

Dr Jason Gurney is exploring New Zealand's unique incidence patterns of testicular cancer.

Presented video and powerpoint

Inequalities in testicular cancer (video approx 16 mins)
Inequalities in testicular cancer (PDF 4.5MB)

Puzzling disparity

Jason Gurney thumbnail

Read more about Jason's research on testicular cancer in He Kitenga.

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