A Framework for One Health Research
Lebov, J. F., Grieger, K., Womack, D., Zaccaro, D., Whitehead, N., Kowalcyk, B., & MacDonald, P. (2017). A Framework for One Health Research. One Health, 3, 44-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.onehlt.2017.03.004
The need for multidisciplinary research to address today's complex health and environmental challenges has never been greater. The One Health (OH) approach to research ensures that human, animal, and environmental health questions are evaluated in an integrated and holistic manner to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the problem and potential solutions than would be possible with siloed approaches. However, the OH approach is complex, and there is limited guidance available for investigators regarding the practical design and implementation of OH research. In this paper we provide a framework to guide researchers through conceptualizing and planning an OH study. We discuss key steps in designing an OH study, including conceptualization of hypotheses and study aims, identification of collaborators for a multi-disciplinary research team, study design options, data sources and collection methods, and analytical methods. We illustrate these concepts through the presentation of a case study of health impacts associated with land application of biosolids. Finally, we discuss opportunities for applying an OH approach to identify solutions to current global health issues, and the need for cross-disciplinary funding sources to foster an OH approach to research.