Working with the CSHI

The CSHI offers a multidisciplinary team with expertise in various scientific fields. This allows for the combination of evidence based research praxis and practical relevance. Current research interests are concerned with social and political conditions within the social- and public health sector. Our team offers support in field access (experts, strategies etc.), methodological considerations and networking opportunities with experts from various fields related to the social and health sector.

Contact

Lukas Kerschbaumer
Prof. Dr. Lukas Kerschbaumer Head of Bachelor's Program Social, Health & Public Management +43 512 2070 - 3700This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Raffael Heiss
Prof. Dr. Raffael Heiss, MA Health Policy & Communication +43 512 2070 - 7432This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ayman Fouda
Asst. Prof. Ayman Fouda, PhD Health Economics +43 512 2070 - 3734This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thesis Topics

Climate change poses an increasing threat, especially to vulnerable groups such as people experiencing poverty, migrants and older people. The welfare state can play an important role in addressing the challenges of climate change by providing protection and support for these groups while taking the necessary measures to reduce emissions and promote sustainable practices.

Possible fields of work for students: What can an eco-social welfare state look like? (Best practice and status quo).

  • Relevance: Social and health care
  • Approach: Qualitative
  • Methodology: Interviews, focus groups, case studies, content analyses, etc.
  • Language: German & English
  • Contact person: Lukas Kerschbaumer

This research area investigates the effectiveness of different legal instruments in the healthcare sector, including both binding (hard law) and non-binding (soft law) mechanisms. It explores the role of regulations, and clinical practice guidelines in shaping healthcare policies, prescribing practices, and decision-making on both the supply and demand sides. By analyzing the drivers of (in-)compliance and the barriers to implementation, this area aims to identify ways to enhance adherence to regulatory frameworks and provide value-based healthcare. Furthermore, it seeks to understand the interplay between hard and soft law tools, and how they can be most effectively combined to create a robust and adaptable regulatory environment to different target groups.

Possible fields of work for students: Role of regulations and guidelines in clinical practice; analysis of drivers regarding (non)compliance; exploration of soft and hard law applications and their optimal combination.

  • Relevance: Health Law and Economics
  • Approach: Quantitative (some cases qualitative)
  • Methods: Surveys, Data Analysis, Content Analysis, Interviews, Delphi, etc.
  • Language: English
  • Contact person: Ayman Fouda

The introduction and implementation of the new primary healthcare law („Bundeszielsteuerungsgesetz 2017 – 2021“) in Austria poses a challenge for all actors involved. The assessments of positive and negative aspects vary widely depending on the actors involved (GP, ÖGK, Ärztekammer). What is needed is a systematic and structured access to existing sets of interests, fears, hopes, assumed potentials and disadvantages within the framework of the implementation of primary healthcare units.

Possible fields of work for students: Qualitative surveys and analyses of wishes, fears, potentials and possible disadvantages of stakeholders around the Primary Care Act.

  • Relevance: Public Health
  • Approach: Qualitative
  • Methods: Interviews, Focus groups, Case studies, Content analysis, etc.
  • Language: German
  • Contact person: Lukas Kerschbaumer

One key challenge on Social Media is that sources have become less reliable and many strategic actors (political or industry groups) try to influence individuals’ perceptions by disseminating misleading content. This research area is about identifying sources of misinformation, analysing content and exploring the impact of such information on users.

Possible fields of work for students: Sources of dis- and misinformation (influencers, political or industrial actors/groups); content on social media (e.g. misleading information on tobacco or alcohol); effects on public perception and knowledge content.

  • Relevance: Public Health
  • Approach: Quantitative (in some cases also qualitative possible)
  • Methods: Surveys, Experiments, Content Analysis
  • Language: German & English
  • Contact person: Raffael Heiss

This research area deals, among other things, with the effects, interrelationships and attempts at regulation of and in the modern food industry. It is particularly concerned with the question of how agriculture, the food industry and politics influence our food environment and also our consumption behaviour.

Possible fields of work for students: Effects of organic farming on the quality of food choices; influence of industry on consumer behaviour (e.g. in relation to the influence of individual food companies on science ("science funding") or certain marketing practices (e.g. advertising to children)); evaluation of current regulatory attempts (e.g. introduction of sugar taxes).

  • Relevance: Public Health
  • Approach: Quantitative or qualitative
  • Methods: Surveys, Experiments, Content analysis, Literature reviews
  • Language: German & English
  • Contact person: Raffael Heiss

This research area focuses on the development and implementation of sustainable practices within the healthcare sector to reduce its carbon footprint. It ranges from establishing benchmarks to analyzing initiatives and polices using seminal taxonomy frameworks. By exploring innovative solutions and policy recommendations, this topic aims to create a more environmentally responsible healthcare system that contributes to the global effort against climate change. The integration of green practices in healthcare also has the potential to reduce costs, improve patient outcomes, and promote overall public health.

Possible fields of work for students: Development / practical implementation of sustainable practices in the health sector; analysis of existing initiatives; etc.

  • Relevance: Public Health & Health Economics
  • Approach: Quantitative – some cases qualitative
  • Methods: Surveys, Data Analysis, Content Analysis, Interviews, Delphi, etc.
  • Language: English
  • Contact person: Ayman Fouda

Health literacy has been discussed as a key concept, which may explain better health outcomes. While much research exists on the conceptualization and measurement of health literacy, research on its antecedents (i.e. social status, education, interest, environmental factors etc.) and consequences (e.g., effects on health behavior and healthy choices) is scarce.

Possible fields of work for students: development of surveys, small-scale interventions or natural experiments to investigate antecedents or consequences of health literacy.

  • Relevance: Public Health
  • Approach: Quantitative (in some cases qualitative)
  • Methods: Surveys, interventions, experiments, etc.
  • Language: German & English
  • Contact person: Raffael Heiss

The inclusion of people with disabilities, e.g. in the labour market, in social insurance, the education system or in health care, is always fraught with challenges. It is evident in many different places that people with disabilities encounter limits to mobility, access to services or also limits in the minds of fellow human beings.

Possible fields of work for students: All topics related to the inclusion of people with disabilities.

  • Relevance: Social and health care
  • Approach: Qualitative
  • Methodology: Interviews, focus groups, case studies, content analysis, etc.
  • Language: German & English
  • Data available
  • Contact person: Lukas Kerschbaumer

This topic addresses the challenge of how to meet labour needs in an ageing society. It is about the inclusion of foreign workers in the labour market and in an enabling social system, taking into account the needs of the older population, the economy and the foreign workers. Successful labour migration can thus contribute to securing economic and welfare state performance on the one hand and to social stability on the other, if the interests, wishes and needs of the labour migrants are taken into account.

Possible fields of work for students: Development of labour migration over time and related challenges such as opportunities, labour shortages and labour migration (e.g. which strategy for which groups).

  • Relevance: Social and health care
  • Approach: Qualitative
  • Methodology: Interviews, focus groups, case studies, content analysis, etc.
  • Language: German & English
  • Contact: Lukas Kerschbaumer

The experience of poverty, inclusion and education are closely linked. People living in poverty often have limited access to education, which reduces their chances of social participation and inclusion. To improve this, it is important to make educational institutions more inclusive and to remove financial barriers to promote equal opportunities. Inclusive education enables all students, regardless of their social background, cultural identity or individual needs, to participate and succeed in the education system.

Possible fields of work for students: All topics within this framework (e.g. effects of inflation on different persons and income groups), and also within the broader framework of the topic of poverty (e.g. poverty in old age).

  • Relevance: Social and health care
  • Approach: Qualitative
  • Methodology: Interviews, Focus groups, Case studies, Content analyses, etc.
  • Language: German & English
  • Data available
  • Contact person : Lukas Kerschbaumer

This research topic delves into the regulatory landscape governing (private) health insurance markets, studying the role of policy interventions in shaping market dynamics, accessibility, and affordability. It investigates the impact of different regulatory measures, such as premium rate setting, risk adjustment, and consumer protection policies, on the overall performance of health insurance markets. Furthermore, this area of study explores the balance between government intervention and market competition, seeking to understand the optimal regulatory framework that encourages innovation while ensuring access to quality healthcare for all.

Possible fields of work for students: Investigating market dynamics; researching regulatory measures and their effects.

  • Relevance: Health Law and Economics
  • Approach: Quantitative (some cases qualitative)
  • Methods: Surveys, Data Analysis, Content Analysis, Interviews, Delphi, etc.
  • Language: English
  • Contact person: Ayman Fouda

The Social Determinants of Health describe the social, economic and cultural factors that influence people's health and illness. Especially in connection with the risk of poverty and experiences of poverty, it is important to keep an eye on the effects on health and on social inclusion.

Possible fields of work for students: Interactions of the Social Determinants of Health and topics such as inclusion, education, experience of poverty, biopsychosocial health, or similar.

  • Relevance: Social and health care
  • Approach: Qualitative
  • Methodology: Interviews, focus groups, case studies, content analysis, etc.
  • Language: German & English
  • Data available
  • Contact person: Lukas Kerschbaumer

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