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Cambridge Public Health


A new evidence review, written by members of Cambridge Public Health, has been published by the World Health Organisation. The review examines the differences and similarities between two approaches to health equity: individually orientated behaviour change and the broader social determinants of health. Despite extensive literature and evidence proposing various interventions, health inequalities persist globally, particularly in early mortality and patterns of illness.

The report, based on a review of reviews from both behavioural interventions and wider determinants literature, calls for a more collaborative approach between these two perspectives. The authors stress that existing silos between these approaches hinder effective policy implementation and conceptual thinking needed to reduce health disparities between social groups.

The authors highlight the need for scientific consilience, suggesting that combining insights from both approaches could enhance the effectiveness of interventions.

To make consilience possible, a shift in thinking is required to allow real interdisciplinary work to occur. It is important for researchers and policy- and decision-makers to move beyond single disciplinary paradigms to see the problems of, and solutions to, health inequalities in their entirety.