To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

Health Promotion


As one of the leading academic institutions for health promotion research in the UK, the Centre for Health Promotion Research has the following aims:

  • To maintain a broad and integrated programme of health promotion research which addresses local, national and international issues;
  • To develop research capacity and support practice-based health promotion research; with a particular focus upon practice within communities drawing upon the role of Health Together;
  • To develop collaborative research, locally, nationally and internationally, which advances the evidence base for health promotion;
  • To disseminate and research widely through reports, journals, seminars, newsletters etc.; and to influence policy and practice via engagement with relevant organisations;
  • To provide a forum for exchanging ideas on the principles and practice of health promotion research. 

We have been commissioned to conduct research and evaluation by organisations such as NICE, Public Health England, NHS Health Scotland, Department of Health, Department for Transport, Local Government and the NIHR as well as third sector organisations, like Shelter, Hamara and the Jigsaw Visitors' Centre at HMP Leeds. 

As a discipline, health promotion is inherently broad and multi-disciplinary and staff research reflects this spectrum of activity.  Although not an exhaustive list, members of the team have a wide range of expertise in areas such as: community health and well-being; empowerment; gender and health promotion; prison health; workplace health and well-being; healthy schools; physical activity; the health promotion workforce; global health and health inequalities.  Moreover, staff have experience in supporting research that uses a wide range of methodological approaches, including participatory methods.

Examples of our Publications

Plus Icon Articles
  • Cross, R.M. and Warwick-Booth, L. (2018) Evaluating a gender-specific intensive intervention programme: young women's voices and experiences. Health Education Journal, March.
  • Cross, R.M. and Warwick-Booth, L. (2018) Neoliberal salvation through a gendered intervention: A critical analysis of vulnerable young women's talk. Alternative Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research.
  • Southby, K. and Gamsu, M. (2018) Factors affecting general practice collaboration with voluntary and community sector organisations. Health & social care in the community, January.View Abstract »
  • Southby, K. and Robinson, O. (2017) Information, Advocacy and Signposting as a Low-Level Support for Adults with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Example from the UK.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, October.View Abstract »
  • Southby, K. (2017) Reflecting on (the challenge of) conducting participatory research as a research-degree student.Research for All, January.
  • Southby, K. (2016) Barriers to non-residential respite care for adults with moderate to complex needs: A UK perspective. Journal of intellectual disabilities : JOID, July.

Plus Icon Books
  • Warwick-Booth, L. and Cross, R.M. (2018) Global Health Studies A Social Determinants Perspective. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Warwick-Booth, L. (2013) Social Inequality. SAGE. – updated edition will be published 2018 – 2nd edition
Plus Icon Book Chapters
  • Warwick-Booth, L. and Cross, R. (2017) A delivery model of a gender-specific intervention approach – Lessons for policy makers. In: Nico, M. and Taru, M. eds. Youth Knowledge book # 21 “Needles in haystacks. Finding a way forward for cross-sectoral youth policy. Council of Europe, pp. 241-256
Read our blog Right Arrow

Research Themes

Plus Icon Healthy Communities
One of the most important challenges for public health and health promotion is how to actively engage individuals and communities to give people greater control over their health and lives. We have a programme of research, postgraduate education and public engagement on the themes of community health, active citizenship and volunteering which focuses on what communities can contribute to health and how participation can be stimulated and sustained. Staff have expertise on topics including: volunteering in health and social care; peer education and peer support; community health workers, health trainers and health champions; asset-based approaches; models of citizen involvement in governance, planning, service delivery and evaluation and participatory research.
Plus Icon Prisoners and Offender Health
Those within the criminal justice system face a disproportionate rate of ill health and because of this offender health has become a key priority for national and international agencies. Staff in the Institute for Health and Wellbeing have established a portfolio of research and evaluation activity focussing on the offender population and have supervised both MRes and PhDs in this area. Staff have particular expertise in peer interventions in prison settings; the policy drive toward a ‘healthy criminal justice system’; prison health from an international perspective; and the needs and support for offender’s families, including children.
Plus Icon Evidence Synthesis Methodology
Evidence synthesis can take many forms, from Cochrane-style systematic reviews and meta-analyses, to more flexible approaches such as mixed-methods systematic reviews, meta-ethnography, realist synthesis, reviews of reviews (meta-reviews), rapid reviews, and systematic mapping reviews. Evidence synthesis is not limited to secondary “desk-based” research but can also involve primary research with a range of stakeholders. In the field of public health, existing synthesis methodology is rapidly evolving to include methods for evaluating complex interventions, process evaluations and effects on health inequalities (for example). We have a programme of research utilising different synthesis approaches to evaluate complex issues in health promotion and health inequalities. Staff have expertise in systematic reviews, meta-analysis, mixed-methods reviews, reviews of reviews and systematic mapping reviews.
Plus Icon Women's Health
Gender matters because structural inequalities that girls are born into influences health outcomes and associated health inequalities. Staff within the Centre have expertise of research with vulnerable females including young women and adults, co-producing data to illustrate their experiences and subjective views in relation to the complexity of their lives and experiences. Staff have evaluated a range of gender-specific interventions that aim to improve the lives of women and promote improved health and well-being.

Current Projects

Plus Icon What Works Centre for Wellbeing
CHPR staff, led by Prof Jane South, form part of the Communities Wellbeing Evidence Programme in the UK What Works Centre for Wellbeing. They have produced a number of outputs from this ongoing work, including a theory of change for community wellbeing, a review of UK indicators of community wellbeing, a conceptual review of community wellbeing, and a systematic scoping review of what works to boost social relations. Forthcoming work includes a systematic review of community places and spaces to boost social relations.
Plus Icon Measuring community resilience
This evidence review was commissioned by WHO Europe Health Equity Network, and is led by Prof Jane South.
Plus Icon Digital supportive interventions for people with cancer that cannot be cured
This mixed methods systematic review, led by Prof Anne-Marie Bagnall, is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and is carried out in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Leeds.
Plus Icon Evaluation of collective control and health
Led by Prof Jane South, we are working with the New Economics Foundation to evaluate Local People and Local Conversations, two projects funded by the People’s Health Trust that aim to increase control, wellbeing and health at a community level.
Plus Icon Leeds Homeshare
Led by Prof Anne-Marie Bagnall, we are working with Leeds City Council Adult Social Care, and Shared Lives Leeds to evaluate the Big Lottery funded pilot study of Leeds Homeshare, which involves placing people in need of low cost accommodation with people in need of some low level support and company in their own homes.


CHPR staff work in partnership with national and international governmental and non-governmental organisations, health and social care professionals and other academic researchers to produce research that is timely and relevant. Professor Jane South is currently seconded to Public Health England as National Advisor for Communities.

Some organisations we have worked with...

Postgraduate Research Degrees

We offer a range of postgraduate research degrees in the areas above, if you are interested in a research degree please contact Dr James Woodall.

The Institute for Health and Wellbeing Health Promotion Team

Back to Top Button