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Prof. David Phillips  
Emeritus Professor
BScEcon, PhD (Wales)
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David Phillips has been Chair Professor of Social Policy at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, since 1997, and since 2019 he is a Research Professor in Social Policy. From 2004 to 2008, he was Academic Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Academic Dean of Social Sciences, 2008-2010. He was also Head of the Department of Sociology and Social Policy (1999-2004; 2014-2017), and Founder Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies (APIAS).


Research | Top

David’s research and teaching interests are in global health, social gerontology and social epidemiology, with particular emphasis on social policy and developments in health and welfare. He currently researches widely on issues related to global health; ageing, health and the environment; epidemiological transition; age-friendly cities and communities, and factors affecting universal health coverage.  In Lingnan University, he was Founder-Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies (APIAS) and he was the founder Co-ordinator of the Asian Ageing Research Network of the Asian Development Research Forum, which was sponsored by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

He was Professor of Human Geography at the University of Nottingham and Head of Department, and Co-Director of its World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Spatial Health Modelling. Prior to that, he was Reader in Health Studies at the University of Exeter and Director of the Institute of Population Studies and its Collaborating Centre in the WHO Human Reproduction Programme. He was also a Non-Executive Director of the Devon Family Health Services Authority (UK National Health Service).

David has longstanding research experience in many countries of the Asia-Pacific and South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. He has held visiting appointments or external examinerships at several universities, including the University of Hong Kong, the National University of Singapore, the University of the West Indies, the University of the Philippines and the University of Ulster. He has received research support from a wide range of sources. He has been an adviser and resource person for the WHO, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and other UN bodies,  especially the World Health Organization and its Western Pacific Regional Office.

He is an elected member of the Academia Europaea (The Academy of Europe) and a Corresponding Member of Belgium’s Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).

He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning in Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and in the Department of Health, Aging and Society at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. He was formerly a Special Professor in the University of Nottingham.

Teaching and Postgraduate Supervision

His current undergraduate teaching includes Social Gerontology (SOC3203) and Global Health (SSC4339). He has contributed to various research methods, project courses and postgraduate courses, and has extensive postgraduate supervision experience of masters and doctoral students in Hong Kong and elsewhere. 

Editorial Appointments and Publications | Top

He is Asian regional advisor to Health and Place and he has been an advisory editor to Social Science and Medicine. He is currently also on the editorial boards of Ageing International, EconomíaSociedad y Territorio and the Asian Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics. He has published over one hundred papers and many chapters and reports. He has written or edited over fifteen books and monographs. Most recently, Global Health has appeared as an extended second edition.

Selected Recent Publications| Top


Global health: an introduction to current and future trends.  Routledge, Oxford and New York, Second Edition, 2017. Kevin McCracken and David R. Phillips (authors). xxvii+438 pp.

Global health: an introduction to current and future trends. Routledge, Oxford and New York, 2012. Kevin McCracken and David R. Phillips (authors). xxiv+328 pp.

Ageing and place. Routledge, London and New York. 2005, paperback 2008. G.J. Andrews and D.R. Phillips (editors). xvi+252pp.

Ageing and long-term care: national policies in the Asia-Pacific. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore and IDRC, Ottawa, 2002. D.R. Phillips and A.C.M. Chan (editors). xviii+242pp.

Ageing in the Asia-Pacific region: issues, policies and future trends. Routledge, London and New York, 2000. D R Phillips (editor) xvii+382pp.

Environment and ageing: policy, planning and design for elderly people in Hong Kong. Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management, University of Hong Kong, 1999. D.R. Phillips and A.G.O. Yeh (editors) xvi+196 pp.

Health and development. Routledge, London, 1994. David R. Phillips and Yola Verhasselt (editors) xvi+336pp.

Ageing in East and Southeast Asia. Age Concern Institute of Gerontology, Research Studies in Gerontology Series. Edward Arnold, London, 1992. D.R. Phillips (editor) xii+246pp.

Health and health care in the Third World. Longman, London, 1990, reprinted 1994, 1995. D.R. Phillips (author) xvi+334 pp.

The epidemiological transition in Hong Kong: changes in health and disease since the nineteenth century. Research Monographs 75, Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong, 1988. D.R. Phillips (author) vii+99pp.

Private homes for elderly people: home from home. Research in Practice Series, Social Science Monographs, Joint Unit for Social Services Research, University of Sheffield, 1988. D.R. Phillips, J. Vincent and S. Blacksell (authors) vi+129pp.

New towns in East and Southeast Asia: planning and development. Oxford University Press, Hong Kong, 1987. D.R. Phillips and A.G.O. Yeh (editors) xii+257.

Health, race and ethnicity. Croom Helm, London, 1986. D.R. Phillips and T. Rathwell (editors) x+278pp.

Rural Britain. Blackwell, Oxford, 1984, reprinted 1985. D.R. Phillips and A.M. Williams (authors) viii+274pp.

Accessibility and utilization: geographical perspectives on health care delivery. Harper and Row, London and New York, 1984, reprinted 1985. A.E. Joseph and D.R. Phillips (authors) viii+214pp.

Rural housing and the public sector. Gower, Farnborough, 1982. D.R. Phillips and A.M. Williams (authors) viii+174pp.

Contemporary issues in the geography of health care. Geo Books, Norwich, 1981. D.R. Phillips (author) x+191pp.

Selected recent papers and book chapters

‘Aging and the rising burden of chronic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa and other Low- and Middle-Income countries: a call for holistic action The Gerontologist, published 19 July 2019. (Razak M. Gyasi and David R. Phillips).

‘Socio-demographic and behavioral correlates of health literacy: a gender perspective in Ghana’, Women & Health. Publ. online 15 May 2019. (P. A. Amoah and D. R. Phillips). 

‘Financial inclusion, health-seeking behavior and health outcomes among older adults in Ghana’, Research on Aging, 2 May 2019, 1-27. IF = 2.000 Sage Publications. (Gyasi, R. M., M.A. Adam and D.R. Phillips). doi/10.1177/0164027519846604

‘Risk of psychological distress among community-dwelling older adults experiencing spousal loss in Ghana", The Gerontologist. Advance publ. 16 May2019. (Gyasi, R. and Phillips, D.R.). doi:10.1093/geront/gnz052   

‘Understanding the wellbeing of the oldest-old in China: A study of socio-economic and geographical variations based on CLHLS data’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 4, 2019, 601. 2019 (Lijuan Gu, Yang Cheng, David R. Phillips and Mark Rosenberg). 

‘Explaining the gender gap in health services use in Ghanaian community-dwelling older cohorts’, Women and Health, publ. online 20 March 2019. (Gyasi, R. M., D.R. Phillips and R. David). DOI: 10.1080/03630242.2019.1587666

‘Demography, socioeconomic status and health services utilisation among older Ghanaians: Implications for health policy’, Ageing International, online Dec 12 2018. (Gyasi, R.M. and Phillips, D.R.)  

‘Multidimensional social support and health services utilization among non-institutionalized older persons in Ghana’, Journal of Aging and Health. Published online 3 Dec. 2018. (Gyasi, R.M., Phillips, D.R. and Amoah, P.A.) 

‘Social exclusion, self-rated health and depression among older people in China: evidence from a national survey of older persons’, Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 82, 238-244, May-June 2019. (Zhixin Feng, Kelvyn Jones and David R. Phillips).  

‘Social support networks and psychological wellbeing in community-dwelling older Ghanaian cohorts’. International Psychogeriatrics. Accepted 8 July 2018 Online Oct. 25: 1-11. (Gyasi, R. M., D.R. Phillips and K. Abass). 

‘The role of a health protection scheme in healthcare utilisation among community-dwelling older persons in Ghana’. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B. publ. online 2 July 2018 (Gyasi, R. M., D.R. Phillips and D. Buor)

‘A geographical multivariable multilevel analysis of social exclusion among older people in China: evidence from the CLASS ageing study’, The Geographical Journal, 184(4), Dec. 2018, 413-428. (Zhixin Feng, D.R. Phillips and K. Jones) 10.1111/geoj.12274.

‘Gender, self-rated health and functional decline among community-dwelling older adults, Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Vol 77, July-Aug 2018, 174-183. R.M. Gyasi and D.R. Phillips. .

‘Health literacy and health: Rethinking the strategies for universal health coverage in Ghana’, Public Health, 159, 40-49, 2018. (P.A. Amoah and D.R. Phillips).

'A study of housing typology and perceived age friendliness in an established Hong Kong new town: a person-environment perspective', Geoforum, 18, 17 - 27, 2018. (Yi Sun, D.R.Phillips and M. Wong).

'Global ageing’, in Geographical gerontology: perspectives, concepts and approaches, edited by M. W. Skinner, G.J. Andrews and M.P. Cutchin. Routledge, London and New York, 2018, pp. 93-109. (D.R. Phillips and Zhixin Feng)

‘Demographics and aging’, in The SAGE Handbook on Contemporary China, ed. Weiping Wu and M. Frazier, SAGE, New York and London. Chapter 54. (forthcoming, June 2018). (D.R. Phillips and Zhixin Feng)

‘Exploring the age-friendliness of Hong Kong: opportunities, initiatives and challenges in an ageing Asian city’, in Tine Buffel, Sophie Handler and Chris Phillipson (eds.) Age-friendly communities: A global perspective, Policy Press, Bristol, 2018, pp. 121-144. (D.R. Phillips, J. Woo, F. Cheung, F., M. Wong and P.H. Chau)

‘A clash of colonialisms: sports culture in Hong Kong under the Japanese occupation’, in J.A. Mangan, P. Horton, T. Ren and G. Ok. (eds.), Japanese Imperialism, Politics and Sport in East Asia: Rejection, Resentment, Revanchism. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2018, pp. 245-278. (B. Bridges and D. R. Phillips)  

‘Asia-Pacific and global population aging’, in T. R. Klassen, Masa Higo, N. Dhirathiti and T. Devasahayam (eds.) Ageing in the Asia Pacific: Interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives, Routledge, New York and London, 2018, pp. 25-45. (D.R. Phillips)

‘Strengthening the referral system through social capital: a qualitative inquiry in Ghana’, Healthcare, 5(4), 80, 2017, 11pp.; doi:10.3390/healthcare5040080 (P.A. Amoah and D.R. Phillips)

‘Health literacy and self-perceived health status among street youth in Kumasi, Ghana’, Cogent Medicine. 4 (1) 2017. (P.A. Amoah, D.R. Phillips, D.R., R.M. Gyasi, A.O. Koduah and J. Edusei). DOI:10.1080/2331205X.2016.1275091

‘Demographic and Epidemiological Transition’ in D. Richardson (editor-in-chief) The InternationalEncyclopedia of Geography, Wiley-Blackwell, New York, 2017, 1-8. (K. McCracken and D.R. Phillips) doi: 10.1002/9781118786352.wbieg0063

‘International initiatives in technology and aging’, in ‘Climate change and the health of older people in South-East Asia’, in R. Akhtar (ed.) Climate Change and Human Health Scenario in South and Southeast Asia. Springer, New York, 2016, pp. 29-52. (K. McCracken and D.R. Phillips)

‘Comparing the age-friendliness of different neighbourhoods using district surveys: an example from Hong Kong’, PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131526. July 1 2015 (Moses Wong, P. H. Chau, F. Cheung, D. R. Phillips, Jean Woo) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131526

‘Challenges for the aging family in the People’s Republic of China’, Canadian Journal on Aging, 34, 3, 290-304, Sept. 2015. (David R. Phillips and Zhixin Feng). DOI: 10.1017/S0714980815000203  

‘Patterns of residential adjustment for older person: Who will recover and how do they recover? A study in different residential environments in Hong Kong’, Social Indicators Research, 119, 1, 295-319, 2014. (K. Cheng, D.R. Phillips, O.L. Siu and A.G.O. Yeh). DOI 10.1007/s11205-013-0493-6 

‘Intervention studies on enhancing work well-being, reducing burnout, and improving recovery experiences among Hong Kong health care workers and teachers’, International Journal of Stress Management, Special Issue, July 1, 2013. (Oi Ling Siu, Cary L. Cooper and David R. Phillips)

‘International initiatives in technology and aging’, in A. Sixsmith and G. Gutman (eds.) Technologies for Active Aging. Springer, New York, 2013, pp. 201-222. (A. Sixsmith, M. Carrillo, D.R. Phillips, P. Lansley and R. Woolrych) 

‘Life events and stress: do older men and women in Malaysia cope differently as consumers?’Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 28, 2, 2013, pp. 195-210. (Fon-Sim Ong, David R. Phillips and S.T. Chai)

‘Global aging and aging workers’in Jerry W. Hedge and Walter C. Borman (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Work and Aging. Oxford University Press, NY and Oxford, 2012, pp. 11-32. (D.R. Phillips and Siu Oi-ling)

‘The impact of changing value systems on social inclusion: an Asia-Pacific perspective’, in Scharf, T. and N. Keating (eds) From exclusion to inclusion in old age, Policy Press, Bristol, 2012, pp. 109-124. (D.R. Phillips and K. Cheng)

‘Overview of health and ageing issues in the Asia-Pacific region’, in Wing-Cheong Chan (ed) Singapore's ageing population: managing healthcare and end of life decisions, Routledge, London, 2011, pp. 13-39. (D.R. Phillips)

‘Ageing in a global context: the Asia-Pacific region’, in C. Phillipson and D. Dennefer (eds) The Handbook of Gerontology. Sage: London and NY, New edition, 2010, pp. 430-446. (David R. Phillips, Chan, Alfred C.M. and Cheng, Sheung-Tak)

‘Person-Environment (P-E) Fit Models and Psychological Well-being among older persons’, Environment & Behavior, 42, 221-242, 2010. (D.R. Phillips, K. Cheng, A.G.O. Yeh and O.L. Siu) 

‘Role resources and work-family enrichment: the role of work engagement’, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 77, 2010, pp. 470-480. (Oi-ling Siu, Jia-fang Lu, Paula Brough, Chang-chin Lu, Arnold Bakker, Thomas Kalliath, Michael O'Driscoll, David R. Phillips, Wei-Ching Chen, Danny Lo, Cindy Sit, Kan Shi)


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