What is Prevention Research?

Prevention research seeks to understand how to promote health and well-being and prevent health conditions from starting or getting worse. It spans all diseases, conditions, populations, and phases of life. 

Prevention research explores biology, behavior, factors in the social and physical environment, health services, and health-related policies and regulations.

Primary prevention: Promoting health and well-being and preventing the onset of new health conditions.

Secondary prevention: Preventing the progression or recurrence of asymptomatic or early stage health conditions.

ODP focuses on primary and secondary prevention research in humans, including studies that seek to:

  • Identify risk and protective factors
  • Screen and identify people who are at risk for or have signs of an early stage condition
  • Develop and evaluate interventions to promote health, enhance protective factors, or reduce risk factors
  • Evaluate the impact of policies and regulations designed to promote health and safety 
  • Test implementation and dissemination strategies for evidence-based preventive interventions and practices
  • Develop and evaluate research methods for prevention-focused studies
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