Carme Borrell

IR-Sant Pau - Sant Pau Institute of Biomedical Research, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (448)1020.69 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To analyse gender inequalities in research on public health and epidemiology in Spain for the period 2007-2014. Method: A descriptive study was conducted by sex of leadership positions in the Centre for Biomedical Research Network (CIBER), especially in the subject area of epidemiology and public health (CIBERESP) in 2014; scientific societies of public health (SESPAS) and epidemiology (SEE) 2009-2014; research projects requested (13,320) and financed (4,699), and monetary amounts of calls for Strategic Action in Health (AES), 2007-2013. Results: Women were clearly under-represented in positions of leadership and in research excellence in public health (CIBER), with a predominance of men in decision-making positions. Although research projects led by women in AES increased slightly between 2007 and 2013, among proposed projects this figure was less than 50%, with the exception of the public health commission. The gender gap was even greater in funded projects. Projects led by men were more likely to be funded, representing 29% in public health. There was also a persistence of horizontal gender segregation in positions of scientific recognition in the SESPAS and SEE Congresses. Conclusions: The overrepresentation of male leaders in public health research in Spain can be understood as an indicator and a consequence of androcentrism in scientific societies and professional groups. This sexist situation threatens the existence of innovative products and services from a gender perspective that respond to the needs and demands of society as a whole. More women are needed in research incorporating this perspective.
    Gaceta Sanitaria 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.gaceta.2015.07.013 · 1.19 Impact Factor
  • International journal of cardiology 09/2015; 202:156-158. DOI:10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.08.120 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The objective of this study was to estimate changes over time in health status and selected health behaviours during the Great Recession, in the period 2011/12, in Spain, both overall, and according to socioeconomic position and gender. Methods: We applied a before-after estimation on data from four editions of the Spanish National Health Survey: 2001, 2003/04, 2006/07 and 2011/12. This involved applying linear probability regression models accounting for time-trends and with robust standard errors, using as outcomes self-reported health and health behaviours, and as the main explanatory variable a dummy "Great Recession" for the 2011/12 survey edition. All the computations were run separately by gender. The final sample consisted of 47,156 individuals aged between 25 and 64 years, economically active at the time of the interview. We also assessed the inequality of the effects across socio-economic groups. Results: The probability of good self-reported health increased for women (men) by 9.6 % (7.6 %) in 2011/12, compared to the long term trend. The changes are significant for all educational levels, except for the least educated. Some healthy behaviours also improved but results were rather variable. Adverse dietary changes did, however, occur among men (though not women) who were unemployed (e.g., the probability of declaring eating fruit daily changed by -12.1 %), and among both men (-21.8 %) and women with the lowest educational level (-15.1 %). Conclusions: Socioeconomic inequalities in health and health behaviour have intensified, in the period 2011/12, in at least some respects, especially regarding diet. While average self-reported health status and some health behaviours improved during the economic recession, in 2011/12, this improvement was unequal across different socioeconomic groups.
    BMC Public Health 09/2015; 15(1):865. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-2204-5 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the magnitude and characteristics of crashes and drivers involved in head-on crashes on two-way interurban roads in Spain between 2007 and 2012, and to identify the factors associated with the likelihood of head-on crashes on these roads compared with other types of crash. A cross-sectional study was conducted using the National Crash Register. The dependent variables were head-on crashes with injury (yes/no) and drivers involved in head-on crashes (yes/no). Factors associated with head-on crashes and with being a driver involved in a head-on crash versus other types of crash were studied using a multivariate robust Poisson regression model to estimate proportion ratios (PR) and confidence intervals (95% CI). There were 9,192 head-on crashes on two-way Spanish interurban roads. A total of 15,412 men and 3,862 women drivers were involved. Compared with other types of crash, head-on collisions were more likely on roads 7 m or more wide, on road sections with curves, narrowings or drop changes, on wet or snowy surfaces, and in twilight conditions. Transgressions committed by drivers involved in head-on crashes were driving in the opposite direction and incorrectly overtaking another vehicle. Factors associated with a lower probability of head-on crashes were the existence of medians (PR=0.57; 95%CI: 0.48-0.68) and a paved shoulder of less than 1.5 meters (PR=0.81; 95%CI: 0.77-0.86) or from 1.5 to 2.45 meters (PR=0.90; 95%CI: 0.84-0.96). This study allowed the characterization of crashes and drivers involved in head-on crashes on two-way interurban roads. The lower probability observed on roads with median strips point to these measures as an effective way to reduce these collisions. Copyright © 2014 SESPAS. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
    Gaceta Sanitaria 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.gaceta.2015.03.007 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Discrimination harms immigrants' health. The objective of this study was to analyze the association between perceived discrimination and health outcomes among first and second generation immigrants from low-income countries living in Europe, while accounting for sex and the national policy on immigration. Cross-sectional study including immigrants from low-income countries aged ≥15 years in 18 European countries (European Social Survey, 2012) (sample of 1271 men and 1335 women). The dependent variables were self-reported health, symptoms of depression, and limitation of activity. The independent variables were perceived group discrimination, immigrant background and national immigrant integration policy. We tested for association between perceived group discrimination and health outcomes by fitting robust Poisson regression models. We only observed significant associations between perceived group discrimination and health outcomes in first generation immigrants. For example, depression was associated with discrimination among both men and women (Prevalence Ratio-, 1.55 (95% CI: 1.16-2.07) and 1.47 (95% CI: 1.15-1.89) in the multivariate model, respectively), and mainly in countries with assimilationist immigrant integration policies. Perceived group discrimination is associated with poor health outcomes in first generation immigrants from low-income countries who live in European countries, but not among their descendants. These associations are more important in assimilationist countries.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 08/2015; 12(9):10687-10699. DOI:10.3390/ijerph120910687 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The immigrant population living in Spain grew exponentially in the early 2000s but has been particularly affected by the economic crisis. This study aims to analyse health inequalities between immigrants born in middle- or low-income countries and natives in Spain, in 2006 and 2012, taking into account gender, year of arrival and socioeconomic exposures. Study of trends using two cross-sections, the 2006 and 2012 editions of the Spanish National Health Survey, including residents in Spain aged 15-64 years (20 810 natives and 2950 immigrants in 2006, 14 291 natives and 2448 immigrants in 2012). Fair/poor self-rated health, poor mental health (GHQ-12 > 2), chronic activity limitation and use of psychotropic drugs were compared between natives and immigrants who arrived in Spain before 2006, adjusting robust Poisson regression models for age and socioeconomic variables to obtain prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Inequalities in poor self-rated health between immigrants and natives tend to increase among women (age-adjusted PR2006 = 1.39; 95% CI: 1.24-1.56, PR2012 = 1.56; 95% CI: 1.33-1.82). Among men, there is a new onset of inequalities in poor mental health (PR2006 = 1.10; 95% CI: 0.86-1.40, PR2012 = 1.34; 95% CI: 1.06-1.69) and an equalization of the previously lower use of psychotropic drugs (PR2006 = 0.22; 95% CI: 0.11-0.43, PR2012 = 1.20; 95% CI: 0.73-2.01). Between 2006 and 2012, immigrants who arrived in Spain before 2006 appeared to worsen their health status when compared with natives. The loss of the healthy immigrant effect in the context of a worse impact of the economic crisis on immigrants appears as potential explanation. Employment, social protection and re-universalization of healthcare would prevent further deterioration of immigrants' health status. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.
    The European Journal of Public Health 06/2015; DOI:10.1093/eurpub/ckv126 · 2.59 Impact Factor
  • Gaceta Sanitaria 06/2015; 29(3). DOI:10.1016/j.gaceta.2015.03.005 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Socioeconomic inequalities affecting health are of major importance in Europe. The literature enhances the role of social determinants of health, such as socioeconomic characteristics and urbanization, to achieve health equity. Yet, there is still much to know, mainly concerning the association between cause-specific mortality and several social determinants, especially in metropolitan areas. This study aims to describe the geographical pattern of cause-specific mortality in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA), at small area level (parishes), and analyses the statistical association between mortality risk and health determinants (material deprivation and urbanization level). Fourteen causes have been selected, representing almost 60 % of total mortality between 1995 and 2008, particularly those associated with urbanization and material deprivation. A cross-sectional ecological study was carried out. Using a hierarchical Bayesian spatial model, we estimated sex-specific smoothed Standardized Mortality Ratios (sSMR) and measured the relative risks (RR), and 95 % credible intervals, for cause-specific mortality relative to 1. urbanization level, 2. material deprivation and 3. material deprivation adjusted by urbanization. The statistical association between mortality and material deprivation and between mortality and urbanization changes by cause of death and sex. Dementia and MN larynx, trachea, bronchus and lung are the causes of death showing higher relative risk associated with urbanization. Infectious and parasitic diseases, Chronic liver disease and Diabetes are the causes of death presenting higher relative risk associated with material deprivation. Ischemic heart disease was the only cause with a statistical association with both determinants, and MN female breast was the only without any statistical association. Urbanization level reduces the impact of material deprivation for most of the causes of death. Men face a higher impact of material deprivation and urbanization level, than women, in most cause-specific mortality, even when considering the adjusted model. Our findings explore the specific pattern of fourteen causes of death in LMA and reveals small areas with an excess risk of mortality associated with material deprivation, thereby identifying problematic areas that could potentially benefit from public policies effecting social inequalities.
    International Journal for Equity in Health 06/2015; 14(1):55. DOI:10.1186/s12939-015-0182-y · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to analyze inequalities in the prevalence of poor mental health and their association with socioeconomic variables and with the care network in the Autonomous Communities in Spain. A cross-sectional multilevel study was performed, which analyzed individual data from the National Health Survey in Spain (ENS), in 2006 ( n = 29,476 people over the age of 16). The prevalence of poor mental health was the dependent variable, measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12 > = 3). Individual and contextual socioeconomic variables, along with mental health services in the Autonomous Communities, were included as independent variables. Models of multilevel logistic regression were used, and odds ratios (OR) were obtained, with confidence intervals (CI) of 95%. The results showed that there are inequalities in the prevalence of poor mental health in Spain, associated to contextual variables, such as unemployment rate (men OR 1.04 CI 1.01–1.07; women OR 1.02 CI 1.00–1.05). On the other hand, it was observed that inequalities in the mental health care resources in the Autonomous Communities also have an impact on poor mental health.
    05/2015; 18:E27. DOI:10.1017/sjp.2015.28
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    ABSTRACT: Background Preventable mortality is a good indicator of possible problems to be investigated in the primary prevention chain, making it also a useful tool with which to evaluate health policies particularly public health policies. This study describes inequalities in preventable avoidable mortality in relation to socioeconomic status in small urban areas of thirty three Spanish cities, and analyses their evolution over the course of the periods 1996–2001 and 2002–2007. Methods We analysed census tracts and all deaths occurring in the population residing in these cities from 1996 to 2007 were taken into account. The causes included in the study were lung cancer, cirrhosis, AIDS/HIV, motor vehicle traffic accidents injuries, suicide and homicide. The census tracts were classified into three groups, according their socioeconomic level. To analyse inequalities in mortality risks between the highest and lowest socioeconomic levels and over different periods, for each city and separating by sex, Poisson regression were used. Results Preventable avoidable mortality made a significant contribution to general mortality (around 7.5%, higher among men), having decreased over time in men (12.7 in 1996–2001 and 10.9 in 2002–2007), though not so clearly among women (3.3% in 1996–2001 and 2.9% in 2002–2007). It has been observed in men that the risks of death are higher in areas of greater deprivation, and that these excesses have not modified over time. The result in women is different and differences in mortality risks by socioeconomic level could not be established in many cities. Conclusions Preventable mortality decreased between the 1996–2001 and 2002–2007 periods, more markedly in men than in women. There were socioeconomic inequalities in mortality in most cities analysed, associating a higher risk of death with higher levels of deprivation. Inequalities have remained over the two periods analysed. This study makes it possible to identify those areas where excess preventable mortality was associated with more deprived zones. It is in these deprived zones where actions to reduce and monitor health inequalities should be put into place. Primary healthcare may play an important role in this process.
    International Journal for Equity in Health 04/2015; 14(1). DOI:10.1186/s12939-015-0164-0 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The relation between “neo-Marxian” social class (NMSC) and health in the working population has received considerable attention in public health research. However, less is known about the distribution of mental well-being according to NMSC in a European context. The objectives of this study are (i) to analyse the association of mental well-being and NMSC among employees in Europe (using a welfare regime typology), (ii) to investigate whether the relation between NMSC and mental well-being is the same in women compared to men within each welfare regime, and (iii) to examine within each welfare regime the role of the gender division of labour and job quality as potential mediating factors in explaining this association.
    Social Science & Medicine 03/2015; 128. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.01.027 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    International Journal of Public Health 03/2015; · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate theses of a Masters program in Public Health (MPH), in terms of the students' and theses' characteristics that influence publication of the thesis as a scientific article. Longitudinal study of students who successfully completed the MPH at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) from 2006 to 2010. Participants completed an electronic survey and additional data were gathered from university files. 162 students participated in the study (83 % response rate). 60.5 % had already published an article derived from their thesis at the time of the study or were in process of publishing it. The likelihood of publishing in a peer-reviewed journal was greater among women (aRR = 1.41), among those who had a bachelor's degree in sciences other than health (aRR = 1.40), had completed the MPH on time (aRR = 2.10), had enrolled in a doctoral program after the MPH (aRR = 1.44) or had a masters thesis score of ≥7 (aRR = 1.61). The majority of MPH students published their thesis in a peer-reviewed journal. The strongest predictors of successful publication were related to academic performance.
    International Journal of Public Health 03/2015; 60(4). DOI:10.1007/s00038-015-0664-0 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study examines changes in the distribution and socioeconomic inequalities of dental care utilization among adults after the major healthcare reform in Chile, 2004–2009. We evaluated the proportion of people who visited the dentist at least once in the previous two years, and the mean number of visits. These outcome variables were stratified by sex, age (20–39, 40–59, 60–63; ≥64 years), educational level (primary, secondary, higher), type of health insurance (public, private, uninsured), and socioeconomic status (quintiles of an asset-index). We also used the concentration index (CIndex) to assess the extent of socioeconomic inequalities in the use of dental care, stratified by age and sex as a proxy for OPEN ACCESS Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12 2824 dental care needs. The use of dental care significantly increased between 2004 and 2009, especially in those with public health insurance, with lower educational level and lower socioeconomic status. The CIndex for the total population significantly decreased both for the proportion who used dental care, and also the mean number of visits. Findings suggest that the use of dental care increased and socioeconomic-related inequalities in the utilization of dental care declined after a Major Health Reform, which included universal coverage for some dental cares in Chile. However, efforts to ameliorate these inequalities require an approach that moves beyond a sole focus on rectifying health coverage.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 03/2015; 12(3):2823-2836. DOI:10.3390/ijerph120302823 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Socio-economic inequalities in health are large in urban areas; however, local municipal governments may plan, manage and provide services and policies which can reduce these. The objective of this study was to describe the beliefs and perceptions of public policymakers in a European city, Barcelona. They are the key actors in designing and implementing urban public policies. Methods A qualitative research study describing policymakers’ beliefs on health inequalities. The study population were twelve policymakers. These were politicians or officers from the city council. Informant profiles were selected using a theoretical sample. Semi-structured individual interviews were performed to collect the data and a thematic content analysis was carried out. Results Politicians were aware of health inequalities in their city and identified diverse social causes. They viewed reducing inequalities as a priority for the city’s government. Officers were less knowledgeable and described less efforts in addressing health inequalities. It was stated by some that reducing inequalities in non-health sectors helped to reduce health inequalities indirectly and there was some collaboration between two sectors. The most frequent barriers encountered when implementing policies were funding and the cities’ limited authority. Conclusions Officers and policymakers had different levels of awareness and access to information on health and its socials determinants. Officers referred to specific causes of health inequalities and policies which related to their sectors and politicians were more familiar with upstream determinants and policies. Some participants explained that policies and programmes needed to be evaluated and very little intersectoral action was said to be carried out. More efforts should be made to provide all policymakers with information on the social determinants of health inequalities. Research on health inequalities and policy should engage with policymakers and promote health as a cross cutting issue in the city council in liaison with the third sector.
    International Journal for Equity in Health 02/2015; 14(1). DOI:10.1186/s12939-015-0143-5 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Urban populations are growing and to accommodate these numbers, cities are becoming more involved in urban renewal programs to improve the physical, social and economic conditions in different areas. This paper explores some of the complexities surrounding the link between urban renewal, health and health inequalities using a theory-driven approach. Methods: We focus on an urban renewal initiative implemented in Barcelona, the Neighbourhoods Law, targeting Barcelona's (Spain) most deprived neighbourhoods. We present evidence from two studies on the health evaluation of the Neighbourhoods Law, while drawing from recent urban renewal literature, to follow a four-step process to develop a program theory. We then use two specific urban renewal interventions, the construction of a large central plaza and the repair of streets and sidewalks, to further examine this link. Discussion: In order for urban renewal programs to affect health and health inequality, neighbours must use and adapt to the changes produced by the intervention. However, there exist barriers that can result in negative outcomes including factors such as accessibility, safety and security. Conclusion: This paper provides a different perspective to the field that is largely dominated by traditional quantitative studies that are not always able to address the complexities such interventions provide. Furthermore, the framework and discussions serve as a guide for future research, policy development and evaluation.
    Social Science & Medicine 01/2015; 124:266-274. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.11.050 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Socioeconomic inequalities are increasingly recognised as an important public health issue, although their role in the leading causes of mortality in urban areas in Europe has not been fully evaluated. In this study, we used data from the INEQ-CITIES study to analyse inequalities in cause-specific mortality in 15 European cities at the beginning of the 21st century. A cross-sectional ecological study was carried out to analyse 9 of the leading specific causes of death in small areas from 15 European cities. Using a hierarchical Bayesian spatial model, we estimated smoothed Standardized Mortality Ratios, relative risks and 95% credible intervals for cause-specific mortality in relation to a socioeconomic deprivation index, separately for men and women. We detected spatial socioeconomic inequalities for most causes of mortality studied, although these inequalities differed markedly between cities, being more pronounced in Northern and Central-Eastern Europe. In the majority of cities, most of these causes of death were positively associated with deprivation among men, with the exception of prostatic cancer. Among women, diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic liver diseases and respiratory diseases were also positively associated with deprivation in most cities. Lung cancer mortality was positively associated with deprivation in Northern European cities and in Kosice, but this association was non-existent or even negative in Southern European cities. Finally, breast cancer risk was inversely associated with deprivation in three Southern European cities. The results confirm the existence of socioeconomic inequalities in many of the main causes of mortality, and reveal variations in their magnitude between different European cities. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to
    Journal of Epidemiology &amp Community Health 01/2015; 69(5). DOI:10.1136/jech-2014-204312 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to estimate the magnitude of gender differences in hazardous drinking among middle-aged people and to analyse whether these differences are associated with contextual factors, such as public policies or socioeconomic factors. Cross-sectional design. The study population included 50- to 64-year-old residents of 16 European countries who participated in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe project conducted in 2010-12 (n = 26 017). We estimated gender differences in hazardous drinking in each country. To determine whether different social context or women's empowerment variables were associated with gender differences in hazardous drinking, we fitted multilevel Poisson regression models adjusted for various individual and country-level variables, which yielded prevalence ratios and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Prevalence of hazardous drinking was significantly higher in men than women [30.2% (95% CI: 29.1-31.4%) and 18.6% (95% CI: 17.7-19.4%), respectively] in most countries, although the extent of these differences varied between countries. Among individuals aged 50-64 years in Europe, risk of becoming a hazardous drinker was 1.69 times higher (95% CI: 1.45-1.97) in men, after controlling for individual and country-level variables. We also found that lower values of the gender empowerment measure and higher unemployment rates were associated with higher gender differences in hazardous drinking. Countries with the greatest gender differences in hazardous drinking were those with the most restrictions on women's behaviour, and the greatest gender inequalities in daily life. Lower gender differences in hazardous drinking seem to be related to higher consumption among women. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.
    The European Journal of Public Health 01/2015; 25(4). DOI:10.1093/eurpub/cku234 · 2.59 Impact Factor
  • Gaceta Sanitaria 01/2015; · 1.19 Impact Factor
  • Carme Borrell
    12/2014; 2(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jth.2014.10.007

Publication Stats

7k Citations
1,020.69 Total Impact Points


  • 2013–2015
    • IR-Sant Pau - Sant Pau Institute of Biomedical Research
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
    • Madrid Salud
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 1997–2015
    • Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
    • University Pompeu Fabra
      • Department of Experimental and Health Sciences
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
    • Catalan Institute of Oncology
      Badalona, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2014
    • Erasmus MC
      • Department of Public Health
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2012–2013
    • University of Alicante
      • Community Nursing, Preventive Medicine and Public Health and History of Science
      Alicante, Valencia, Spain
    • IMIM Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2004–2012
    • Instituto de Salud Carlos III
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2003–2012
    • Institut Marqués, Spain, Barcelona
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
    • Institut Català d'Oncologia
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
    • Complutense University of Madrid
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2010
    • Center for Innovative Public Health Research
      سان کلمنت، کالیفرنیا, California, United States
  • 2008
    • Universitat de Girona
      • Department of Nursing
      Girona, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2007
    • Queensland University of Technology
      • Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2003–2006
    • Johns Hopkins University
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2005
    • University of São Paulo
      • School of Public Health (FSP)
      San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
    • University of Helsinki
      • Department of Dental Public Health
      Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
  • 2004–2005
    • Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública
      Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
  • 1999–2003
    • Instituto de Salud Global de Barcelona
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2001
    • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
      • Cancer Prevention Program
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 1998
    • The Andalusian School of Public Health
      Granata, Andalusia, Spain
  • 1993–1997
    • Institut Català de la Salut
      Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain
  • 1996
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States