The first CauseHealth meeting

By Samantha Copeland

This CauseHealth network meeting brought together philosophers, medical practitioners and researchers in the health sciences to share their perspectives on human health and illness. Read about the first meeting in their guest editorial for the European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare.

The first meeting of the network, held in Aas at NMBU in October 2015, enabled the CauseHealth collaborators to discuss how philosophical assumptions influence medical practice. The group raised questions about how a more complex understanding of causation and evidence might better reflect the realities of healthcare, and even make medical research a more effective resource for those who care for individual patients.

The content of that workshop and the result of the discussion have been published in a recent editorial for the European Journal of Person Centered Healthcare.

In particular, the editorial sums up how some of the perspectives shared by collaborators and the aims of the CauseHealth network closely parallel the current trend toward person centered approaches to healthcare. For instance, the collaborators in the network and person centered approaches share a desire to focus on the context of care and the unique features of individual patients as well as their illness experiences. That is, we share a conviction that medical research needs to better address, “individual variations and propensities, causal complexity, psychosocial influence and top-down causation”.

Moving forward, as a result of these shared goals and convictions, CauseHealth will continue to work closely with proponents of personal centered approaches to better integrate philosophical perspectives on causation into healthcare. To follow up the discussion from this meeting, a workshop will be organised at NMBU in January: N=1 – Causal Reasoning and Evidence for Clinical Practice.

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