Department of Public Health · University of Basel

Research

Public Health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals. It involves many disciplines which share health care system approach, and focus on entire populations rather than individual patients alone. Furthermore, disciplines involved in public health share strengths in a variety of methodological approaches (quantitative (epidemiologic, health economic, qualitative, mixed methods research & implementation science).

Highlights current projects

SNF funding

INSPIRE  (Implementation of an Integrated Community-based Care Program for Senior Citizens) is a multiphase project that aims to develop, implement and evaluate a nurse-led integrated care program for older adults living at home in Canton Basel-Landschaft. The project is designed according to the framework of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Framework, yet integrates different implementation science components at each phase of the project. The project is led by the Institute of Nursing Science, in close collaboration Swiss Tropical and Public Health, Institute of Primary Care Medicine, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Statistics, European Center for Pharmaceutical Medicine, Evidence-based Insurance Medicine and the Ärztegesellschaft Baselland.

INTERCARE (Nurse-led models of care in Swiss nursing homes: improving INTERprofessional CARE for better resident outcomes) is an implementation science research project which combines qualitative and quantitative methods to explore implementation processes and assesses the effectiveness of a new model of care. It addresses several key issues of the healthcare system in Switzerland including the development and assessment of new care models, interprofessional collaboration and the quality of care in nursing homes.

OSPIC Trial: (Oral corticosteroids for post-infectious cough in adults: A double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial in Swiss family practices) is supported by an SNF grand (investor initiated clinical trail 2019).
Cough is one of the most common causes for seeking medical advice in general practices. Post-infectious cough is defined as lasting 3 to 8 weeks after an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). It can be very bothersome and disabling in daily activities and with significant impact on physical and psycho-social health, leading to impaired quality of life. Recommendations for the management of post-infectious cough in primary care are scarce and incoherent No therapy according to evidence-based standard is available to date. The main research question of the OSPIC trial is whether a 5-day treatment with orally administered prednisone can improve the cough related QoL as measured by the Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ) of adult primary care patients with post-infectious cough triggered by an URTI. (for further project information)
Centre for Primary Health Care (uniham-bb)

SAPALDIA (Swiss study on Air Pollution And Lung Disease in Adults) is the only Swiss-wide chronic disease cohort with associated biobank. It was initiated in 1991 and has since been funded by the SNF, the Federal Offices for the Environment and Public Health, different Lung Leagues and cantons. SAPALDIA is at the center of national and international air pollution (FP7 Projects ESCAPE; Exposomics) and respiratory health research (Horizon2020 Project: ALEC). The rich risk factor, environmental and health data as well as the genome- and methylome-wide data is used in studies ranging from assessing the role of physical activity, sleep, and transportation noise in cardio-metabolic disease etiology to the evaluation of chronic disease diagnosis and treatment as well as aging in general.

EU funding

ENDOSCAPE (a clinically applicable non-viral gene delivery technology)
Gene therapy is one of the most promising treatment options for future advanced therapies in a broad range of diseases. Successful gene delivery requires the recognition of target cells as well as cytosolic and nucleosolic uptake of the gene. Currently,  non-viral based gene delivery such as transfection reagents are only suitable for in vitro applications and clinical gene therapeutics delivery is accomplished via viral vectors, which still has major safety concerns and complex and costly manufacturing procedures, preventing future implementation for the treatment of diseases with large patients groups. In the last 15 years, a class of secondary plant metabolites has been discovered that selectively mediates endosomal escape and cytoplasmic delivery of macromolecules only at low endosomal pH, thereby inducing a 40-fold enhanced gene delivery efficacy, in vivo. The currently employed methods of applying endosomal escape enhancers and gene therapeutic product, however, do not ensure that both compounds are at the same time at the site of interaction. The ENDOSCAPE technology platform will develop and collect proof of concept for a non-viral gene delivery technology with increased synchronization (in time and place) of both compounds. Proof of concept of the ENDOSCAPE technology has a major impact on the therapeutic opportunities for current and future macromolecule drugs for a broad range of diseases. All this induces new biotech-based businesses; new research projects and creates new technology platforms for development of new macromolecule therapeutics for a broad range of disease indications. The non-viral bases ENDOSCAPE technology will enhance therapeutic efficacy with lower therapeutic dose thereby reducing costs of healthcare, improving the health of patients worldwide, and strengthening the competitive landscape of the EU in the worldwide quest for such an advanced technology. Within ENDOSCAPE, ECPM is assessing expected/required health economic performance characteristics of the ENDOSCAPE technology in medical applications.

HBM4EU (coordinating and advancing human biomonitoring in Europe to provide evidence for chemical policy making)
is a joint effort of 28 countries, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, co-funded under Horizon 2020 with more than 70 Mio. Euro. The main aim of the initiative is to coordinate and advance human biomonitoring in Europe.

OPERAM (Optimising PharmacothERApy in the Multimorbid elderly)
Many older adults have multiple chronic diseases (multi-morbidity) and multiple medications (polypharmacy). However, multi-morbid patients are often excluded from clinical trials and most guidelines address diseases in isolation. OPERAM investigators developed STOPP/START criteria to detect inappropriate drug use, both over- and underuse. OPERAM performs a multicentre randomised controlled trial to assess the impact of a user-friendly software-assisted intervention to optimise pharmacotherapy and to enhance compliance in 1900 multi-morbid patients aged 75 years or older. OPERAM ultimately aims at better healthcare delivery in primary and hospital care, based on effective, safe, personalised and cost-effective interventions that can be applied to the rapidly growing older population in Europe. Within OPERAM, ECPM is responsible for the work package devoted to health economics.