Research fields + Expertise

Sustainability in healthcare: we undertake a wide variety of empirical research which contributes towards improving and informing the quality of health care for women throughout the generative phase. Our focus is on somatic, psychological, and biosocial aspects.

Our methods

  • Quantitative and qualitative analyses, including mixed methods
  • Systematic reviews
  • Clinical trials
  • Evaluations and surveys

We collaborate with national and international universities, university hospitals and health insurance organisations.

We have a number of bachelor, master and doctoral students and provide support for supervision in our subject areas of expertise.

Perinatal mental health

Mental illness is the most frequent complication during pregnancy and the first postpartum year. We analyse how women in the perinatal period use mental health services in Switzerland. We aim at providing guidelines for appropriate mental health care for pregnant and postpartum women.

Innovative perinatal care models

We develop, implement and evaluate a interprofessional model to improve transitional care and support for families with a premature child. 

In another study we are validating the ‘Bern Pain Scale for Neonates’ (BSN), a multidimensional method of evaluating pain that has been adopted throughout Europe. It allows practitioners to identify pain in newborn babies and adequately treat or alleviate it.

Perinatal health of socially disadvantaged groups

We carry out a quantitative assessment of female asylum seekers’ access to perinatal healthcare in Europe and assess their health-related needs. This will help to significantly improve the range and use of perinatal healthcare of socially disadvantaged women in Europe.

We are also investigating how women in socio-economically disadvantaged circumstances experience their pregnancy and the first year after the birth of their child. Our findings will help influence needs-oriented support, institutional structure and care processes.

Metabolic disorders during pregnancy

We are examining whether obesity in pregnancy together with comorbid diabetes and high blood pressure increases the risk of birth complications. We are exploring the means of how to provide optimal support for obese women during pregnancy and childbirth. The findings will help to inform public health authorities' obesity prevention policies.

Ethical conduct in perinatal care practice

We are examining to what extent the development of ethical competence depends on education, practical work experience and the professional setting.