Positive health

In response to the emergence of new lifestyle approaches to health and disease, the RCSI established the Centre for Positive Health Sciences (CPHS) in 2019.

The Centre focuses on the role of lifestyle factors in health and well-being and draws on a variety of disciplines including lifestyle medicine, positive psychology and positive organisational research.

Our mission is to educate, nurture and research for the benefit of positive health and well-being, with our main goal undertaking and deploying evidence-based research (with associated training and education) to contribute to the flourishing of individuals, organisations and communities.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the world is facing a rapidly growing and unsustainable tsunami of lifestyle-related diseases.

Current approaches to healthcare are not equipped to deal with the growing impact of such diseases. Globally, this increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases, combined with the ageing of populations and limitations on healthcare resources mean that we will need to empower individuals to look after their own health and well-being to a much greater extent.

Prevention will be as important as cure. The CPHS is one of only a small number of centres in the world seeking to integrate positive psychology and lifestyle medicine. It is the only such centre embedded in a health sciences university, with unrivalled access and opportunity to influence and be influenced by the dynamics of healthcare innovation and change.

What is positive health?

“Positive health is both a destination and a journey. As a destination it signifies the pinnacle of physical, mental, social, emotional, and meaningful thriving. As a journey, it reflects the fact that any movement towards thriving is a positive health journey.” 

Burke, J., Dunne, P. J., Meehan, T., O’Boyle, C. A., & van Nieuwerburgh, C. (2022).
Positive health: 100+ research-based positive psychology and lifestyle medicine tools to enhance your wellbeing: Taylor & Francis.

Burke, J., Boniwell I, Frates B., Lianov L., O’Boyle C.A. (2023).
The Routledge International Handbook of Positive Health. Routledge.