About Our Research

The Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU) is a bi-university health research unit. Since it began in 1999, SPHERU has established itself as a leader in population health research – the study of social factors that affect the wellbeing of groups within a population.

While much population health research focuses on describing health inequities, SPHERU’s focus is on population health intervention research: We look at how to address inequities by taking action on the social determinants of health. By intervention, we mean any developments or changes to policies, programs, research, funding, or any other action that influences the determinants of health and positively affect population health outcomes.

SPHERU’s work includes the creation of new knowledge, independent policy analysis, collaborative research with policy makers, and collaboration with communities to develop strategies to reduce health inequities. Much of our work falls within the following main themes:

SPHERU has conducted Evaluation Research that studies the effectiveness of policies and programs in their efforts to make social and environmental conditions healthier and more equitable. More recently, we have moved into Intervention Research, which takes things further by contributing effective responses to health disparities between populations.

Our population health researchers come from a broad range of disciplines and have produced leading edge policy-relevant research, done in collaboration with policy makers and communities around the province. They work at the main campuses of the Universities of Regina and Saskatchewan, as well as a satellite office and research lab in Prince Albert.