Message from the Director
This research unit is embedded in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the North-West University on the Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa. The research activities in AUTHeR focus specifically on bio-psycho-social health in context of preventing illness, restoring, maintaining, and promoting bio-psycho-social health, as well as facilitating quality health systems. A variety of disciplines are involved in the research done in AUTHeR namely Social work, Psychology, Nursing Science, Consumer Science and Occupational Hygiene. Our research includes basic, applied as well as research in application (action research) with emphasis on the bio-psycho-social well being of people. It includes the understanding of the health transition in a country where rapid urbanisation takes place without keeping up with changes in health care.
Very little (if any) information exists on the prevalence of various levels of bio-psycho-social health which gives us the opportunity to position ourselves as experts in this field. Furthermore the uniqueness of this Unit lies in the transdisciplinary, holistic approach to illness prevention and health promotion taking cognisance of the whole health continuum from pathology to optimal health. The relevance and importance of doing transdisciplinary health research is the opportunity provided to researchers from different backgrounds (disciplines/scientific fields) to transcend their own professional, conceptual as well as theoretical and methodological frameworks and to share their ideas and results with others in order to integrate knowledge towards a better holistic understanding of health needs and problems that could benefit the people in Africa. The strategic aims for AUTHeR are guided by the Millennium Development Goals for South Africa. These goals also influence the National and Provincial health research policy and priorities.
The National priorities that we address through our research in and services to the communities are:
Our research are designed against the background of the vision and mission of the University to address unique and relevant challenges and opportunities specific for Africa and other developing countries where health is affected by HIV/AIDS, rapid urbanisation, a rapid aging population and where the empowering of people and the building of human capital is a high priority.
Research Focus Area Director