Social epidemiology deals with the questions "What is and what determines health and disease" Social epidemiology focuses on the identification of health potentials like social support or occupational qualifications and of health risks like stress, risk behaviour, social isolation etc. Further on, the quantitative measurement of these risks and potentials on well-being, life quality, disease and mortality is an essential task.
Social epidemiology uses the same methods and approaches as medical epidemiology but extended for the instruments of quantitative empirical social sciences.
Health Promotion in Work Environment
The focus here is the development of diagnostic approaches for health reporting in companies and organizations and the development of intervention strategies for health promoting occupational area and healthy organizations. We make the assumption that the employee's health is foremost influenced by the occupational conditions and the organizational structures.
Thus, our group focuses upon identification of health risks, their control and of health potentials and their promotion. Health promotion targets on the increase in well-being compared to a health status before an intervention concerning psychosocial health risks. Currently, our main interest is on health promotion in hospitals by means of health and quality circles. Furthermore we develop guidelines for quality management of occupational health promotion.
Evaluation and Quality Reporting (Quality Research) in Health Systems
The rapid growth and specialization in health systems has led to many new benefits, professions, institutions and special health subjects. In parallel the medical knowledge rises exponentially by the enormous effort for biomedical research worldwide. Both have led to a low level of transparency in health systems: for the providers, but especially for the demanding citizens, for the insurants and the patients. Evaluation research and quality reporting may contribute to bring back transparency about benefits, costs and quality in health systems and therefore enables more reasonable utilization of available resources.