Social & Health Care Services

Whether quantitative or qualitative, problem- or solution-oriented, theoretical or empirical approaches, the focus is on relational and processual dynamics in the social, economic, and political spheres. The aim is to identify potentials and conditions that enable socially sustainable and future-oriented development of society. Central themes encompass changes in the welfare state or social system, emphasizing the social participation of different (disadvantaged) groups of people, integration into the labour market, migration, individual life courses, as well as changes in living or social spaces and the impact of social determinants of health.

 

Social Dynamics & Social Policy

Whether quantitative or qualitative, problem- or solution-oriented, theoretical or empirical approaches, the focus is on relational and processual dynamics in the social, economic and political spheres and the identification of potentials and conditions for enabling socially sustainable and future-oriented development of society. Central themes are changes in the welfare state or social system and in this sense the social participation of different (disadvantaged) groups of people, integration into the labor market, migration, conflicts, individual life courses and also changes in the living and social space.

(Public) Health & Behavioral Science

A core part of our research is dedicated to leveraging health policy and economics tools to make health systems and medical practices more accessible and efficient. We also focus on supporting to improve health literacy, ensuring people can make informed decisions about their health and helping to create health-promoting conditions. In addition, we're venturing into the realm of planetary health and green healthcare, exploring the connection between our health and the environment to create a sustainable and healthier future.

Digital Media, Health & Society

Digital media and the rapid development of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) present new opportunities and challenges for public health. They create a distinct information environment for learning, problem-solving, social interaction, and participation. However, they can also contribute to the dissemination of misinformation, social inequalities, and societal polarization. To fully harness the potential of digitalization, we need to understand how to utilize digital tools and AI to improve information environments, bolster the accessibility of healthcare, and foster health and well-being.

Social Work Practice, Social Change & International
(Development) Cooperation

Various fields of action of social work, including the virtual social space, are analysed in order to understand and address current challenges and opportunities for society. The aim is to explore and improve social work practice in an ever-changing global context. Our research focuses on topics such as theories of social work, participation through digital media, innovative research methods, social space analyses, social planning and the shaping of society. Other central topics are evaluation, organisational analyses, practice research and the involvement of users in the research process.

Contact
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Walch | Head of Department & Studies Master's Program International Health & Social Management
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Walch Head of Department & Studies

If you have any questions regarding this research area, please contact us:
socialhealth@mci.edu


Research & Transfer Centers
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Walch | Head of Department & Studies Master's Program International Health & Social Management
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Walch Head of Department & Studies
 Thomas Dierker, BA MA | Dissertant Master's Program Social Work, Social Policy & Management
Thomas Dierker, BA MA Dissertant +43 512 2070 - 3423
Prof. Dr. Markus Frischhut, LL.M. | Study Coordinator European Union Law Bachelor's program Management & Law
Prof. Dr. Markus Frischhut, LL.M. Study Coordinator European Union Law +43 512 2070 - 3632
Prof. Dr. Lukas Kerschbaumer | Head of Bachelors Program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management Bachelor's program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management
Prof. Dr. Lukas Kerschbaumer Head of Bachelor's Program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management
Prof. Dr. Wei Manske-Wang | International Business Bachelor's program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management
Prof. Dr. Wei Manske-Wang International Business +43 512 2070 - 3733
 Moritz Reisberger, BA MA | Teaching & Research Assistant Bachelor's program Social Work
Moritz Reisberger, BA MA Teaching & Research Assistant +43 512 2070 - 3442
 Philipp Weinkogl, BA MA | Teaching & Research Assistant Bachelor's program Management & Law
Philipp Weinkogl, BA MA Teaching & Research Assistant +43 512 2070 - 3624
Mag. Jolanda Baur | Teaching & Research Assistant Bachelor's program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management
Mag. Jolanda Baur Teaching & Research Assistant +43 512 2070 - 3725
 Laura Feith González, BA MA | Teaching & Research Assistant Bachelor's program Social Work
Laura Feith González, BA MA Teaching & Research Assistant +43 512 2070 - 3422
Prof. Dr. habil. Belachew Gebrewold | Head of Department & Studies Bachelor's program Social Work
Prof. Dr. habil. Belachew Gebrewold Head of Department & Studies +43 512 2070 - 3400
 Robert Koglek, MA MSc | Senior Lecturer Bachelor's program Social Work
Robert Koglek, MA MSc Senior Lecturer +43 512 2070 - 3431
Prof. Dr. Nils Mevenkamp | Statistics & Empirical Social Research Bachelor's program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management
Prof. Dr. Nils Mevenkamp Statistics & Empirical Social Research +43 512 2070 - 3732
 Sara Repo, MA Bakk. Komm. | Teaching & Research Assistant European Master in Health Economics and Management
Sara Repo, MA Bakk. Komm. Teaching & Research Assistant +43 512 2070 - 3728
Asst. Prof. Mag. Desiree Wieser, PhD | Lecturer Bachelor's program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management
Asst. Prof. Mag. Desiree Wieser, PhD Lecturer +43 512 2070 - 3735
Prof. Dr. Yevgen Bogodistov | Strategic Management & Organizational Behavior Bachelor's program Business Administration / online
Prof. Dr. Yevgen Bogodistov Strategic Management & Organizational Behavior +43 512 2070 - 4235
Mag. (FH) Katharina Flunger-Lang, MA | Lecturer Bachelor's program Social Work
Mag. (FH) Katharina Flunger-Lang, MA Lecturer +43 512 2070 - 3435
Prof. Dr. Raffael Heiss, MA | Health Policy & Communication Center for Social & Health Innovation
Prof. Dr. Raffael Heiss, MA Health Policy & Communication +43 512 2070 - 7432
DSA Mag. Dr. Christina Lienhart | Senior Lecturer Bachelor's program Social Work
DSA Mag. Dr. Christina Lienhart Senior Lecturer +43 512 2070 - 3432
Mag. Regina Obexer, Master of Education | Senior Lecturer Student & Career Center
Mag. Regina Obexer, Master of Education Senior Lecturer +43 512 2070 - 1922
Prof. Dr. Stephan Schlögl | Human-Centered Computing Bachelor's program Management, Communication & IT
Prof. Dr. Stephan Schlögl Human-Centered Computing +43 512 2070 - 3535
Mag. Renate Windbichler, MIM | Teaching & Research Assistant Master's Program International Health & Social Management
Mag. Renate Windbichler, MIM Teaching & Research Assistant +43 512 2070 - 3724
Prof. Dr. Simon Czermak | Behavioral Economics Master's program International Business & Law
Prof. Dr. Simon Czermak Behavioral Economics +43 512 2070 - 3635
Asst. Prof. Ayman Fouda, PhD | Health Economics Bachelor's program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management
Asst. Prof. Ayman Fouda, PhD Health Economics +43 512 2070 - 3734
 Andrej Kállay, PhD | Senior Lecturer Bachelor's program Social Work
Andrej Kállay, PhD Senior Lecturer +43 512 2070 - 3433
Prof. Mag. Dr. Barbara Lill-Rastern | Social Management & Social Research Bachelor's program Social Work
Prof. Mag. Dr. Barbara Lill-Rastern Social Management & Social Research +43 512 2070 - 3436
 Bastian Oechsle, BA MA | Teaching & Research Assistant Bachelor's program Social Work
Bastian Oechsle, BA MA Teaching & Research Assistant +43 512 2070 - 3424
 Anouk van Amerongen, BSc MA | Teaching & Research Assistant Bachelor's program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management
Anouk van Amerongen, BSc MA Teaching & Research Assistant +43 512 2070 - 7442
 Angela Wong An Qi, BSc MA | Teaching & Research Assistant Bachelor's program Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management
Angela Wong An Qi, BSc MA Teaching & Research Assistant +43 512 2070 - 3723

Social space-oriented and inclusive participation of people with disabilities in the border region
Duration:
2020 - 2021

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. Dr. Siegfried Walch

Team:
Philipp Weinkogl, BA MA

Ajla Nesimovic, BSc

DSA David Sporschill, MA

Sascha Gell, BA MA

Description:
For people with disabilities, needs-based care as well as the right to choose the service provider freely are generally more difficult to realise in rural areas than in urban contexts. Although the same language is spoken in Germany and Austria and people now live quite naturally in one country, work, shop or go to hospital in the other, people with disabilities mainly take part in participation services in their respective home countries. This is due not only to a lack of cross-border services but also to a lack of knowledge of the service structures and the ways to access the neighbouring country services. Additionally, there is also a lack of knowledge about personal rights. This project captures existing offers and services in the social space. By conducting 5 focus groups (2x affected persons, relatives, institutions, politics) and interviews, knowledge about the perception of participation services in the social space, hindering factors and perspectives as well as unmet needs, is generated. Additional knowledge is generated through a moderated large group event where affected persons and experts participate. First findings can be multiplied here. A legal opinion will be created at the same time, which will highlight legal and administrative barriers and opportunities for cross-border service participation. The findings from the focus groups and the large group event will be included. Recommendations for actions for further offers for the social space of the border region will be derived from the gained knowledge. These recommendations will be made available to those affected, to specialists and to social policy makers. This will be done via a brochure (professional public and social policy) as well as by means of an online platform. There the results will be presented in an understandable way, services and offers in the social space will be presented and further information will be provided.

Health Literacy in Childhood
Duration:
2019 - 2022

Team:
Lorena Stern, BA MA

FH-Prof. Mag. Dr. Barbara Lill-Rastern

Dr. Claudia Zoller

FH-Prof. Dr. Raffael Heiss, MA

FH-Prof. Dr. Lukas Kerschbaumer

Sascha Gell, BA MA

Description:
Data on the health literacy of Austrians are currently availably primarily for adults and adolescents aged 13 and older. These data refer to the findings of the HLS-EU study which was conducted throughout Europe. The results of the Europe-wide HLS-EU study (2012) among adults as well as adolescents were below-average in Austria. On this basis the project management has intensively dealt with the topic of health literacy within the scope of a master thesis in 2017. For the first time in Austria, data on the level of health literacy of almost 600 children in the 4th primary school level were collected. This data were collected in two comparative provinces (Tyrol and Styria). There are many reasons why it is important to address the topic of health literacy to children. On the one hand this is because it is difficult to change behavioural patterns that were imprinted in childhood at a later stage. Therefore, it is essential to start with the topic of health literacy early. On the other hand, the implications of a population with low health literacy on the health status of the population, on the health care system and on the health care expenditure can be manifold. The results of the study conducted as part of the master's thesis show that almost half of the children in the sample have excellent health literacy. The difference between these results and those of the HLS-EU study (for adolescents as well as adults) was the basis for developing the research question what level of health literacy children between the ages of 9 and 13 have. This age range is exactly where the turning point of the health literacy level lies according to the previous studies (HLS-EU, master's thesis). Determining this turning point can make a significant contribution to the implementation of targeted measures that are designed to suit the age group and ultimately strengthen their health literacy.

FoodExplorer: A Citizen Science Project for the enhancement of the food supply in the school environment
Duration:
2020 - 2021

Team:
Sascha Gell, BA MA

Description:
In the Citizen Science (CS) project FoodExplorer, adolescents explore the food supply in their school environment. For the first time, they thereby create a comprehensive inventory of the food supply in and around Tyrolean schools. Apart from the CS data, we also conduct a multi-wave survey at the partner schools. By combining the CS data with the survey data, we create new knowledge about the influence of the food supply on the nutritional behaviour as well as on the wellbeing of the students. Also, the potential of CS in social sciences remains untapped to date. Thus, from a methodological point of view, this project generates new findings about the application of CS in social sciences and thereby plays a pioneering role here. This is done by providing new experiences on the feasibility of using CS in social sciences and evaluating the potential in terms of scientific innovation and individual learning effects.

Health Influencers on Social Media
Duration:
2022 - 2025

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. Dr. Raffael Heiss, MA

Team:
Elena Engel, MA

Sascha Gell, BA MA

Description:
FWF Einzelprojekt

Program Evaluation 'Hallmark Healthy School Tyrol'
Duration:
2019 - 2021

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. Dr. Raffael Heiss, MA

Team:
FH-Prof. Dr. Lukas Kerschbaumer

Sascha Gell, BA MA

Lorena Stern, BA MA

Dr. Claudia Zoller

Description:
The hallmark Healthy School Tyrol Program is dedicated to a holistic conception of health and intends to change individual behavior in favor of a healthier lifestyle. To achieve this overarching goal early sensitization of the health topic is promoted in children and teenagers, as well as, in decision makers within the school context (e.g. teachers). Establishing health-promoting structures and processes should strengthen the individual self-efficacy (empowerment) and the psychosocial and physical well-being of students. Objectives of the evaluation are to assess 1) the implementation of the hallmark criteria, 2) the supervision during the conception and implementation and 3) the impact of the program on students. To grasp the impact of the hallmark in its full extend a mixed-method approach is utilized including qualitative and quantitative approaches. The qualitative part includes a document analysis and group discussions to identify restricting and/or activation factors for the implementation of the "Hallmark Healthy School Tyrol". Examining the influence of the hallmark on the course of development in children and teenagers is the main concern of the quantitative part and achieved via a three-part panel analysis.


  • Wong, A., Zoller, C., Fouda, A., & Paolucci, F. (2023). Are we past the COVID-19 pandemic? insights from Singapore. Health Policy and Technology, 100779. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlpt.2023.100779
  • Fouda, A., Melia, A., Tritter, J., & Paolucci, F. (2022). Special Issue: The COVID-19 Pandemic: Vaccination Strategies and Global Health Policies. Health Policy and Technology, 100634. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlpt.2022.100634
  • Kerschbaumer, L., Gell, S., Nesimovic, A. & Weinkogl, Ph. (2022). The inclusive, social space-oriented participation of people with disabilities in the Bavaria–Tyrol border region during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Comparative Social Work 17(1). https://doi.org/10.31265/jcsw.v17.i1.391
  • Bogodistov, Y., Moormann, J., & Schweigkofler, M. (2023). Burnout im Homeoffice: Auswirkungen von Arbeitsanforderungen und Arbeitsressourcen im Homeoffice auf Burnout und Schlafqualität. Zeitschrift fur Arbeitswissenschaft. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41449-023-00373-7
  • Dierker, T. (2022). Niederschwellige Vergangenheit, komplexe Gegenwart. In: Sozialwirtschaft, Jg. 32 (2022), Nr. 2, (S. 19-21).
  • Heiss, R., Bode, L., Adisuryo, Z. M., Brito, L., Cuadra, A., Gao, P., Han, Y., Hearst, M., Huang, K., Kinyua, A., Lin, T., Ma, Y., Manion, T. O., Roh, Y., Salazar, A., Yue, S., & Zhang, P. (2024). Debunking Mental Health Misperceptions in Short-Form Social Media Videos: An Experimental Test of Scientific Credibility Cues. Health Communication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2023.2301201
  • Lienhart, Christina (2023): „Dann hab ich auch zu ihr gesagt, ich will wieder heim. Und sie hat auch ziemlich viel gekämpft.“ Relationale Herstellungsleistungen von Familie bei Rückkehrprozessen aus stationären Erziehungshilfen. In: Theile, Manuel/Wolf, Klaus (Hrsg.): Sozialpädagogische Blicke auf Heimerziehung. Theoretische Positionierungen, empirische Einblicke und Perspektiven, S. 335-348.
  • Gebrewold, B (2022): Leave No One Behind: A Social Work Imperative against Social Darwinism. In: SIÖ, Fachzeitschrift für Soziale Arbeit, OBDS, Ausgabe 217, pp. 10-12.
  • Walch, S., Kerschbaumer, L., Sahling, F., Reinthaler, V., Spencker, J., Wüstner, N. & Meindlhumer, M. (2022). Pflege in Tirol – Ideen, Perspektiven, Strategien & Zukunft. Innsbruck. Center for Social & Health Innovation, MCI I Die Unternehmerische Hochschule®
  • van Amerongen, A., Zoller, C., & Fouda, A. (2023). COVID-19 in the Netherlands: A three-phase analysis. Health Policy and Technology, 100783. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlpt.2023.100783

  • Kerschbaumer, Lukas; Sahling, Friederike; Walch, Siegfried; Reisberger, Moritz; Luttinger, Petra; Mevenkamp, Nils; Mantel, Cora; Lackner, Nadine (2021): Managing the Virus, the Community or the Own Interests – Community Leaders in Winter Tourism of Tyrol & Vorarlberg: EHMA 2021 Annual Conference (15.-17.09.2021) - Abstract session on Health management and COVID-19.
  • Engel, E., Gell, S., Heiss, R., & Karsay, K. (2023). Social Media Influencers and Adolescents’ Health: A Scoping Review. Presentation to the Health Communication Division at the 73rd annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), May 25-29, Toronto, Canada.
  • Sahling, Friederike; Kerschbaumer, Lukas; Walch, Siegfried (2023): Caring for Caregivers: A Critical Look at Managing Human Capital in a Struggling System: EHMA 2023 Annual Conference (05.-07.06.2023) - Abstract session Human capital, professionalism and people management: Workforce of the future.
  • Lienhart, Christina (2023): „Ich kann es bestätigen, dass die Nabelschnur getrennt wurde.“ Relationale Herstellungsleistungen von Nutzen und nicht-intendierten Wirkungen stationärer Erziehungshilfen aus der Perspektive von Familienmitglieder und Fachkräften. Keynote bei der JuQuest-Konferenz 2023, Eugendorf. Online: https://www.juquest.at/downloads/konferenzen.
  • Claudia Zoller, Friederike Sahling, Melanie Fleisch, Ayman Fouda, Simon Czermak (Oktober, 2023). Healthy Youth Tyrol – Fostering Phyiscal Activity in Adolescence. Towards Innovations in Ageing and Well-Being, Ulysseus Conference, Université Côte d’Azur. 19. Oktober.
  • Fouda, A., Moy, N. & Fiorentini, G. (2023). Promoting Generic Medications: Tough vs. Soft Regulations. Towards Innovation in Ageing and Well-Being Conference, Nice, France October 19th, 2023.
  • Windbichler, R.; Baur, J.; Kerschbaumer, L.; Walch, S.; "Klimawandel, Gesundheit und Resilienz im Rahmen eines SDG-Praxisprojektsemesters"; Vortrag Fachsymposium „Klimawandel, Gesundheit und Resilienz: aktuelle Trends und künftige Entwicklungen in Lehre, Forschung und Praxis“; Fachhochschule Kärnten, Campus Villach; 21.09.2023
  • Dierker, T. (2023). Challenges of diversity-conscious digitalization processes in social organizations: Insights from the practice research project “Digital Social Route Map” in Austria. European Conference on Educational Research, University of Glasgow, Scotland, 24.08.2023.
  • Mevenkamp, N.; Oechsle, B. (2021): The Impact of Covid-19 on Education in Austria. Presentation at the Global Summit Of The Worldwide Commission To Educate All Kids (Post-Pandemic) - Back To School 2021 - Third Bucket Kids & Learning Recovery/Catch Up For Everyone Else (22.10.2021); https://www.i21cq.com/events/global-summit-on-the-return-to-school/
  • Griebler, R., Zoller C., Ecker, S., Gell, S., Heiss, R., Kerschbaumer, L., Leuprecht, E., Lill-Rastern, B., Röhrling, I., Sahling, F., Schmutterer, I., Stern, L., Fiala-Baumann, B., Bruckmüller, M., Ring-Dimitriou, S., (Oktober, 2021). Ein neuer Fragebogen zur Messung von Gesundheitskompetenz bei Kindern im Alter von 9 bis 13 Jahren: Erfahrungsbericht [A new questionnaire to measure health literacy in children: Lessons learned]. Vortrag auf der jährlichen Konferenz der Österreichischen Plattform für Gesundheitskompetenz (ÖPGK), 12. Oktober.
  • Sahling, F., Ecker, S., Griebler, R., Zoller C., Gaiswinkler, S., Gell, S., Heiss, R. Röhrling, I., Schmutterer, I., Stern, L. (Oktober, 2021). Erhebungsinstrumente zur Messung von Gesundheitskompetenz bei Kindern & Jugendlichen. Vortrag auf der jährlichen Konferenz der Österreichischen Plattform für Gesundheitskompetenz (ÖPGK), 12. Oktober.
  • Heiss, R. (2023) Health Influencers on Social Media: A Challenge for Overdiagnosis? Invited Keynote Talk. Preventing Overdiagnosis 2023, Aug 14-16, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Kerschbaumer L. (2024). Navigating Welfare Systems in the Wake of Crisis: Assessing Social Support Uptake in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 6. Forschungskonferenz ESPAnet Austria, 4.-5. April 2024, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz.