Welcome to the Department of Social and Behavioral Health (SBHD) at Virginia Commonwealth University. Founded in 2006, the department has rapidly built a strong grant funded research program. Our faculty conducts theoretically grounded innovative research addressing social and behavioral aspects of disease, risk factors for poor health, limited access to medical care, and poor prognosis. Our research is aimed at the elimination of health disparities, often exploring the power of health communications in clinical and community settings. Current research projects are looking for more effective ways to deliver health messages to populations at risk for cancer, teen pregnancy, and STDs. Some of our projects study the needs of people undergoing treatment for cancer, including the role of health literacy in information needs and health care outcomes and the role of doctor-patient communication and its impact on treatment decision making. Some projects are developing and testing interventions to help increase the rates of organ donation, and to enhance the quality of care for hospitalized persons with a life-threatening illness. In addition to applying communication sciences to a number of contemporary health challenges, the SBH faculty are striving to improve research methods, including the measurement of behavioral constructs in the social and behavioral sciences.
Our new PhD program and the SBHD MPH program offer an active and vibrant context for future public health researchers in the social and behavioral sciences. Our graduate programs prepare students to conduct independent research, to evaluate behavioral health research, and to disseminate knowledge by publishing and teaching, all in the service of improving population health.
SBHD supports the VCU Sustainability Initiative. Take the