The collapse of the old system in 1989-91, and the great social changes in Russia, the Baltic republics and Central and Eastern Europe, were accompanied by huge changes in the health of these countries' populations.
A series of public health crises followed after 1989, with the shortest duration in Poland and the Czech Republic and the longest duration in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The social transformation has been, and still is, intimately linked to changes in health and survival. Diverging health trends dominate presently, both on a regional and national level. Present health status and mortality rates in former communist countries are also influenced by the history of these countries before 1989. The long stagnation period from the end of the 1960s to 1984 and their experiences of war are two such influences.
SCOHOST research concerns both present developments and their historical roots.
The following research themes are in focus:
- Inequalitiesin health
- Social relations and health
- Psychological aspects of health
- Health behaviours
- Adolescent health
- Public health in a historical perspective
- Violence and victimization
- Urban environment and health
SCOHOST has carried out four large research projects, 1997-2010:
- Social Development and Public Health in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia and the Baltic states (1997-2001)
- Social Change and Health Developments in Russia and the Baltic Sea Region. Emerging Social and Regional Differences (2002-2004)
- Unhealthy Societies? Public Health Determinants in Russia and New EU States (2005-2007)
- The Most Acute Problem of Contemporary Russia: Causes and Consequences of the Population Decline (2008-2010)
Our latest research project was Health and Population Developments in Eastern Europe in the Conditions of Economic Crisis (2011-2013).
SCOHOST has also conducted a number of surveys in Russia and Ukraine.