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Institute of Public Health Research

The research centre designs and carries out studies on population health, health promotion and prevention, and health care.

The team of the Health Science research unit designs, acquires and conducts scientific studies in the field of Public Health. The research team deals with questions of health promotion and prevention, epidemiology of health problems and determinants, as well as health systems and health care in different contexts and life phases.

Key research subjects

The research unit consists of a multi-disciplinary team, which is also reflected in the diversity of the research questions addressed. It possesses broad know-how in both quantitative-statistical and qualitative research methods and many years of expertise in its thematic areas.

The main research topics are represented by the following thematic groups:

Children and Youth Public Health (CAH)

The thematic group deals with determinants as well as care and distribution of health and disease in children and adolescents. The focus of our work is on mental health and noncommunicable chronic diseases, as well as on the health competencies of parents and other key persons in childhood and adolescence. Surveillance, in the sense of performing representative studies on children and youth health and health reporting, represents a specific focus of the thematic group.

Education, Work and Health (BAUG)

The thematic group «Work, Education and Health» conducts research in the fields of disability, labour market and education economics, labour market sociology and occupational health management. For example, the project «Risk factors of disability in young adults» investigates which factors increase the risk of retirement in young adults with health impairments. Another example is the project «Health inequalities in the context of prolonging working life» in which the meaning of  prolonging working life for older employees with health problems is studied.

Health and old-age healthcare (GGA)

With the aim of improving health of the elderly population, we conduct research in collaboration with other research groups on various aspects of health care in this age group. Current projects focus, for example, on quality in home care (Spitex) or pain reduction in people with dementia in the old-age homes.

Interprofessional teaching and practice (IPLP)

Interprofessional teaching and cross-professional cooperation in practice cannot be separated from each other: Thus, the focus of our research efforts in this thematic area lies on the one hand on the targeted acquisition of interprofessional competence by students, practitioners and teachers, both at school/university and in the occupational setting. On the other hand, the effects on the health care system associated with interprofessional education and cooperation of health care professions are studied.

Projects and publications

The research team conducts contract research and interest-driven research projects on public health issues, and more specifically its thematic areas.  All research projects and publications are listed in the project and publication database of the ZHAW by start date or publication date.

Research partners and clients

Together with our cooperation partners, we develop study questions relevant to public health and conduct studies jointly. We develop research designs for clients and practice partners, conduct investigations, and document the results as requested. We accompany and evaluate projects and development processes.

Our commitment is complemented by a broad spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research methods and a modern infrastructure, interdisciplinary networks within the ZHAW and by our close cooperation with international experts in various fields.

We collaborate with the research groups of occupational therapy, nursing, physiotherapy and midwifery in the School of Health Sciences in various interdisciplinary projects.

Our research team

The research team is multidisciplinary and consists of qualified scientists from the social and health sciences, namely sociology and psychology, as well as public health, medicine, physiotherapy and economics, with a broad expertise in both quantitative-statistical and qualitative research methods. The transfer of new evidence in practice is achieved through cooperation with partners in practice, scientific contributions to conferences and publications, events and publications for the general public, as well as through teaching&training.

The Health Sciences research team is complemented by other scientists at the Institute of Public Health.