The Human Functioning Unit conducts conceptual and empirical research on functioning in the context of philosophical, policy and communication issues and debates. The Unit is led by two research groups: the Health Communication Group, focused on the study of communication in the health systems, and the Disability Policy Group, focused on functioning within the normative framework of the UN Convention of the Right of Persons with Disabilities.
The Human Functioning Unit addresses three areas of research:
Philosophy of health, with a main interest on how the concept of functioning relates to other main concepts in healthcare, especially health, disability, well-being and quality of life. This stream of research aims to achieve conceptual and empirical clarity that can best inform healthcare practice.
Health Communication, with a main interest on communication processes in the access, exchange and use of health information among the different stakeholders, especially patients, consumers, professionals and researchers. This stream of research aims to enhance the quality of group and individual decision-making in healthcare, through optimal information capacity and procedural standards for decision.
Disability Policy, with a main interest on the operationalisation and measurement of health, as well as on frameworks for understanding, and performing research on the lived experience of health, at the individual and population levels. This stream of research aims to enhance full participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities.