Research programs on population health are directed towards understanding public health concerns, socio-cultural and economic causes and consequences, and inequalities in health care practices among different sections of people. Some major population health research programs are:
Elderly Health and Well-being
In 1998, an exploratory research was carried out to investigate various health issues facing the growing elderly population within a rapidly changing social context. The first study interviewed 105 elderly people living in western Chitwan Valley on mental and physical health including measures of physical functioning, chronic health conditions, lifestyle behaviors, health care utilization and barriers to health care utilization, personal control, and cognition. Data was further collected from 2,155 elderly people living in the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) sample neighborhoods of the western Chitwan Valley in 2006.
Armed Conflict, Family Change and Mental Health
This study investigates mental health conditions in the population (depression, mania, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, psychosis, and post traumatic stress disorder) and the availability of health services, using the Nepali translation of the World Mental Health Initiative questionnaire. It also investigates the interrelationship between mental health conditions and the decade long armed conflict in Nepal. Survey responses are validated through clinical interviews conducted by psychiatric doctors.
HIV/AIDS and Elderly Health and Wellbeing
Research conducted on HIV/AIDS is geared toward understanding people’s perceptions, attitudes, and practices about the prevalence of disease, disease risk factors and health care services (not about the diagnostic aspect per se). This study investigates the extent widespread social change is related to the prevalence of the disease; individual perceptions, attitudes and practices; and how social change affects the physical and mental health of elderly and their health service use. In 2009, a survey was administered to 352 residents of the western Chitwan Valley. The survey included important measures of the health and wellbeing of older adults, measures of sexually transmitted disease (STDs), HIV/AIDS prevalence, associated risk factors, individual knowledge, and attitudes.