Areas and sub areas

The Master’s in Public Health consists of two areas of concentration: Epidemiology and Policies, Environment and Society, each composed of two sub areas of research.

Area 1 – Epidemiology

Sub Area: Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Non-infectious Diseases and Conditions

This area focuses on the analysis of current health needs, studying diseases and non-infectious diseases of relevance in the Public Health field, their epidemiology, interrelationship with other health areas, associated risk factors, determination processes, prevention and control. Research projects include: Risk and distribution of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes; Associations between Chikungunya and Diabetes; Diabetes Mellitus in pregnant women; Characterization of maternal prognoses in severe outcomes; Epidemiology of Adult Health; Validation of instruments for analysis of Functionalities, Disabilities and Health; Alcohol and drug use in incarcerated populations; and Epidemiology of violence.

Sub Area: Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases

This area addresses various projects on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, leprosy and arboviral diseases of importance in Public Health in Brazil; epidemiology, surveillance and vector control actions of vector-borne diseases (arboviroses) and zoonoses; clinical-epidemiological and operational perspectives of control of neglected tropical diseases; epidemiology, prevention and clinical intervention in infectious diseases of public health interest, with emphasis on HIV/AIDS infection, tuberculosis, systemic mycoses, arboviral diseases, leptospirosis and other relevant diseases. The research projects in this line address diverse and strategic themes, such as arboviruses in the state of Ceará: clinical and epidemiological study; epidemiology and control of infectious processes in hospital settings; microcephaly and Zika virus infection in pregnancy; access to detection and treatment of Chagas’ disease in the context of primary health care in Brazil; and transgenerational recurrence of leprosy in family nuclei of areas with different endemicity profiles in Northeast Brazil: magnitude, patterns and contexts of vulnerability.


Area 2 – Policies, Environment and Society

Sub Area: Health Policies, Management, Evaluation and Education

This area integrates social sciences and humanities, politics, planning and management in conjunction with other fields of knowledge. In an integrated way, the studies focus on the formulation, implementation and evaluation of systems and public health policies. The area also integrates studies on health care, management models, health education and work management in SUS. During the last four years, this line has developed works on: basic Health Care and Access to Specialized Care; Field of professional practices and access to care in the Family Health strategy; Evaluation of the training of higher level health professionals; Evaluation for the improvement of educational programs; Permanent education of SUS workers; Evaluation of the impact of health and social protection policies; Evaluation of services; Conceptions of healthy eating in contemporary society; Knowledge, attitudes, practices and perceptions regarding Neglected Tropical Diseases; Rehabilitation and Social Stigma; Information and communication technologies for health care; Child development and comprehensive care; Child development and health care; History and evaluation of health policies and study of the decentralization of health services management in the state of Ceará; Governance models, regionalization and health care networks; Evaluation of training models and teaching-service integration; Innovative practices and deinstitutionalization in mental health; Quality, humanization and comprehensiveness of care in oncology; and Evaluation of the psychosocial care network.

Sub Area: Production-Environment and Health

This area analyzes the social, economic, cultural dynamics and their influences on the morbidity and mortality pattern of the population. It incorporates conceptions and paradigms that involve the interrelationships between health, environment and work, aiming to strengthen public health policies, as well as shared scientific production and articulated with popular knowledge. The major themes covered include: socio-environmental conflicts, work and health; surveillance of health problems related to work and the environment; and Relations between health, work, environment and subjectivity. The research in this line has addressed the history and health of communities affected by dams and irrigated perimeters in Ceará; Workers’ health and environmental health in municipalities with agro-industrial projects of environmental impact; Surveillance of territorial basis for monitoring pesticides; Surveillance of health problems related to work and the environment; Child and youth cancer and use of pesticides in irrigation regions; and Health conditions in different Brazilian territories under intense agribusiness activity.

The PhD in Public Health consists of two areas of concentration: Epidemiology and Health Surveillance and Health Evaluation, each composed of two sub areas of research.

Area 1 – Epidemiology and Health Surveillance

Sub Area: Epidemiology and Surveillance of Communicable Diseases

This area focuses on infectious and parasitic diseases, their epidemiology, transmission dynamics, prevention and control. It comprises epidemiological research that analyzes the health-disease processes related to communicable conditions, and their determinants/conditioners in Brazil. It also studies emerging communicable diseases, or diseases with a picture of persistence and declining trend. The studies have incorporated research on the impact of individual or collective actions and interventions of health surveillance aimed at the prevention and control of this set of diseases. This line of research offers continuity to the commitment to study neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), particularly leprosy, Chagas’ disease and schistosomiasis. The area also turns to projects on arboviral diseases and emerging diseases, such as Chikungunya. It advances in projects that also aim to study the association of Zika virus in pregnancy to Microcephaly and its impacts, as well as cardiovascular risks in adolescents. Other infectious and parasitic processes in Brazil were studied, such as rabies and tungiasis. With emphasis also presented studies on infection by HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including with great national repercussion, such as syphilis.

Sub Area: Epidemiology and Surveillance of Noncommunicable Diseases/Agravities

This area includes epidemiological research with a focus on health-disease processes related to chronic conditions and their determinants/conditioners that are expressed in different life cycles, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, endocrinopathies. It includes research on the impact of individual or collective health surveillance actions and interventions aimed at the prevention and control of these diseases/illnesses. It also stands out for studies on living conditions in the perinatal period, birth, growth and development of children and adolescents, as well as women’s health, as social processes of interest to collective health. It also includes research related to the epidemiology of violence and its relations to health promotion. The area also establishes projects that dealt with the epidemiology of health-disease processes in children and adolescents, as well as mortality patterns and quality of maternal and child care, considering, among other issues, prognoses in severe maternal outcomes and fetal death outcome. The area also deals with aspects related to human functionality and disability.


Area 2 – Health Evaluation

Sub Area: Health Policies and Technology Assessment

This area includes evaluative research on policies, management, care practices and health technologies and their impacts in different scenarios of health systems, establishing links between national, regional and local contexts. It integrates methods and techniques from social and human sciences as well as epidemiology, in an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective, in the approach of social, environmental and health policies. The research linked to this line addresses aspects of health policies and problems: Governance model, regionalization and health care networks in the state of Ceará; Policy, planning and management of regions and health care networks in Brazil; Evaluation of policies and actions of maternal and child care; Development and integration of technologies in society; Generic tool for evaluation and monitoring of morbidity and disability related to neglected tropical diseases in Brazil, Development of Intelligent Computational Platform to Support Decision Making in Health; and Limits and possibilities of community-based rehabilitation as a strategy for social inclusion.

Sub Area: Qualitative Evaluation of Services and Programs

This area includes evaluative research related to management, organization, practices and performance of health services and programs, in different scenarios of health systems, establishing links between national, regional and local contexts. It encompasses perspectives related to subjectivity, culture and the symbolic dimension, in an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective. It integrates methods and techniques from social and human sciences in a complementary dialogue with the tradition of the epidemiological method, under different epistemological perspectives. The line was defined to solidify the epistemological foundations of health research, allowing the doctoral student opportunities to study the theoretical and methodological foundations of the qualitative approach, covering topics such as: Intersubjectivity; Creative presence of the researcher; Reflexivity and positionality; Sampling and transferability; Writing in the qualitative approach; Triangulation in its different levels and modalities; Preparation of research projects contrasting the positivist and interpretive paradigms. The techniques of analysis of discursive material (texts, images and other forms of representation) are also deepened in a critical perspective, articulating the subjective production with the materiality to which it is linked.