Behavioural and cultural insights for health

Many factors that affect our health and well-being are not medical, but rather social, cultural, political, psychological or economic. Behavioural and cultural insights for health refers to knowledge derived from the social sciences and health humanities that helps us to better understand the drivers and barriers to achieving the highest attainable standard of health. These insights are often context dependent, and can be used in the design, implementation and evaluation of health policies to ensure that they are effective, acceptable and equitable

Learn more about behavioral and cultural contexts of health

Top story

Using the arts to improve health: WHO pioneers large-scale, arts-based health interventions

A new partnership project initiated by WHO/Europe and the Nordic Culture Fund sets out to explore effective and sustainable strategies for integrating arts and culture into the wider health-care sector. Led by WHO/Europe’s flagship unit on behavioural and cultural insights for health, it will bring together academics, artists, cultural institutions, health-care practitioners and policy-makers from different countries.

Healthier behaviours: incorporating behavioural and cultural insights

Learn more about the Flagship Initiative 4


Our activities build on conceptual and normative advances made by cross-cutting priorities at WHO/Europe, such as gender-transformative health promotion, health literacy, and the cultural contexts of health and well-being.

Go to activities

Cultural contexts of health

Awareness of cultural contexts has always been central to the work of WHO. However it is challenging to take a systematic approach to research on how culture affects perceptions, access and experiences of health and well-being.

Learn more about the project


The webinars aim to engage a broad audience of policy-makers, academics and the public in cultural and historical approaches to global health.

Go to the webinars section


Video - Arts and health stories: Charlotte

Watch more videos on behavioural and cultural insights