assist. prof. dr. Mirko Prosen – PHD TOPICS

Name and Surname: assist. prof. Mirko Prosen, PhD

Research facility (research activity location)
University of Primorska, Faculty of Health Sciences

Research field according to ARRS classification
Science: Medical sciences
Field: Human Reproduction

Science: Social sciences
Field: Sociology

Summary of research topic and field
I. Social aspects of health prevention
The research topic addresses the social factors that influence, maintain and promote of health as a social, economic, political and ideological category. Health and illness are recognized in socio-constructivist theory as sociocultural products. This requires a critical analysis of their location in a given space and time and the meanings that surround them – both for patients (experiencing health / illness), as well as for healthcare professionals and other allied health professionals involved in maintaining or promoting health. In comparison to the social model of health, the biomedical model failed to connect and explain the impacts of social determinants of health. It should be noted that, in September 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) specifically emphasized the need for more attention to be paid to the social determinants of health in the future, especially those that lead to health inequalities. The fact is that some determinants of health cannot be directly influenced (e.g. gender, age, genetics), while others can (socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions; living and working conditions; social networks; individual lifestyle factors). Among the determinants listed above, the lifestyle is most often influenced by healthcare professionals and other allied health professionals, however, often fail to recognize the intertwining of different social circumstances and relationships with other social determinants of health that shape individual’s healthy lifestyle. What are the social determinants of health that are most influencing health today; what is the level of applying scientific knowledge about the social determinants of health (and illness) into activities and interventions for maintain and promote health; which social determinants of health are most often the cause of health inequalities; how the ideology of health (and prevention) influences collective behaviour and social action; and what methodological challenges accompany the study of such a complex phenomenon, are only some of the central research questions.

II. Sexual and reproductive health of the population
Research topic is related with contemporary health prevention issues, which are increasingly focused on preconception health and interventions related to family planning, health education during pregnancy and providing perinatal and postnatal healthcare. It is also focused on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and the effective ways of prevention and early detection of cancer. The focus of some of the most recent important studies indicates that the explorations of reproductive health is increasingly moving away from merely studying the physical aspect of health and focusing on the social and ethical aspects of reproduction. The key research objectives in this area are directed at the sexual and reproductive health of women and men throughout the life cycle.