Health Citizenship:
is participation always effective?


Emerald and SDGs
An Emerald mission in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

A defining feature of contemporary health and social care systems is the active and meaningful involvement of people with lived experience. It is this concept of health citizenship which emphasises the importance of integrating lay knowledge and user experience.

At the same time, health citizenship has been critiqued on the grounds that it doesn’t pay enough attention to questions around power, rights, responsibilities and representation. These tensions, therefore, invite further discussion and debate.

In our mission to understand health citizenship, we ask:

  • What distinguishes a health citizen from a health consumer?
  • In what ways does health citizenship integrate the lay knowledge of patients and service users?
  • Does health citizenship improve access and quality of care?
  • And has the transformative power of user involvement been overstated?

If you're a researcher looking to publish a paper in this area, you can browse our full list of journals by subject area or view our latest call for papers to find the perfect home for your research.

Or better yet, get in touch with us directly using the form at the bottom of this page. We’d love to hear from you!

This mission is aligned with our Healthier lives goal

Free access to our author videos, blogs, podcast and articles

If you have an article, blog, or opinion piece you’d like to share on the subject of health citizenship, or on any of our other mission topics, please get in touch.


To explore insights around health citizenship, watch our latest author videos.


Youthquake and Health Citizenship

Presented by: Doctor Sima Hamadeh, Associate Professor, Haigazian University, Lebanon.

Meet Doctor Sima Hamadeh as she shares her story on the scientific study, Youthquake for health and sustainability, which shows the important role that Generation Z can play in increasing health citizen literacy among their communities.

World Social Work Day

Presented by: Associate Professor Dianne Wepa, Charles Darwin University, Australia.

Meet Associate Professor Dianne Wepa as she talks to us about this year's World Social Work Day, on the themes of a shared future for transformative change, and health citizenship.

Health citizenship and experts by experience

Presented by: Dr Md Shafiqur Rahman Jabin, Assistant Professor, University of Bradford, UK.

Meet Dr Md Shafiqur Rahman Jabin as he talks to us about the concept of health citizenship and experts by experience.

Blogs & podcasts

Take a look at our latest blogs and podcast episode to find out more about what our authors have to say regarding understanding health citizenship.


World Social Work Day 2024: shared future for transformative change and health citizenship

Dianne Wepa

Associate Professor Dianne Wepa, Head of Discipline, Social Work, Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia.

World Social Work Day raises awareness about the importance of social work and celebrates the invaluable contributions of the social work profession. Find out more in this blog.


How do we embed a co-production strategy with health citizens to improve health and social care?

Dr Md Shafiqur Rahman Jabin Dr Jae Hargan

Dr Md Shafiqur Rahman Jabin, Assistant Professor, and Dr Jae Hargan, Experts by Experience Coordinator, University of Bradford, UK.

This blog explores how health citizens play a vital role in improving the quality of life for people who use health and social care services.


Role of health citizenship in improving health outcomes for childhood trauma and violence

Srishti Sharma

Srishti Sharma, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

During childhood, any exposure to abuse or maltreatment acts as a serious stressor that leads to cognitive impairments and deficits. Here, Srishti highlights the role of health citizenship in improving health outcomes for childhood trauma and violence.


Four strategies for engaging post-secondary students as collaborators to advance post-secondary student mental health

Jennifer Thannhauser Andrew Szeto

Jennifer Thannhauser and Andrew Szeto, University of Calgary, Canada.

Jennifer and Andrew discuss four strategies for engaging students as co-researchers and collaborators to address the evolving mental health needs of students. Find out more in their blog.


Health citizenship and digital technology for suicide prevention

Dr Md Shafiqur Rahman Jabin Dianne Wepa

Dr Md Shafiqur Rahman Jabin, Assistant Professor, University of Bradford, UK, and Associate Professor Dianne Wepa, Charles Darwin University, Australia.

In their blog, Dr Md Shafiqur Rahman Jabin and Associate Professor Dianne Wepa discuss how digital health technologies have emerged as one of the solutions for suicide prevention.


Lived experience leadership and systems transformation: what are we missing?

Mark Loughhead

Mark Loughhead, University of South Australia.

Many in the mental health space believe in the transformative power of lived experience. In this blog, Mark discusses lived experience leadership in the context of health citizenship.


Health citizens transforming health systems in the developing world: the case of Rugare Medical Centre’s health for all initiative

Charles Mpofu

Dr Charles Mpofu, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

The Rugare Medical Centre initiative underscores the importance of fostering a sense of health citizenship and social accountability in health professional education and medical schools.


When psychology meets economics to empower healthy citizens

Sima A.Hamadeh

Sima A.Hamadeh, Ph.D., Associate Professor - Program Coordinator, Public Health Nutrition, Science Journalism, Haigazian University, Beirut, Lebanon.

By integrating behavioural economics into public health initiatives, and food and healthcare systems, we can improve the impact of interventions that empower individuals to make healthier choices.


Reconsidering patient centered care: between autonomy and abandonment

Professor Ruth Parry, Loughborough University, UK and Professor Alison Pilnick, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK.

Host Rebecca Torr speaks with Professors Alison Pilnick and Ruth Parry on the topic of patient-centered care in relation to patient outcomes and healthcare policy reform.

Find out more and read the transcript

Free access to our related journal articles

Explore our range of research on this topic. For a limited time only, these articles are free to access.


Different routes to publication

If you would like to contribute to the discussion, take a look at our different routes to publication and contact us to get involved.

Special issues

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Featured call for papers

International Perspectives on Health Equity journal cover

Health Citizenship – is participation always effective?

International Perspectives on Health Equity

Health citizenship is integral to improving the quality and safety of person centred, culturally appropriate, evidence-based health and social care in the quest to achieve the best possible outcomes with regards to health and wellbeing for individuals and populations.

Find out how to submit your paper

Calls for papers

View some of our other health & social care calls for papers.

View all calls for papers
Our subject areas

Health & social care

Our research covers all aspects of health & social care such as the health and social impacts of COVID-19, human rights, mental health, and policy and practice in healthcare management.

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If you would like to contribute to this page, or you are working on research related to health citizenship and/or healthier lives and would like to publish it in a journal, please let us know by filling in this form and we’ll get right back to you.


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