Department of Health Sciences - Students practicing with a walker

Research – Department of Health Sciences

The Health Sciences Department at IMC Krems carries out research into therapeutic and nursing care. There is also an emphasis on testing and developing treatment measures for patients.

Interdisciplinary collaboration generates new findings

Research in the Department of Health Sciences may look at interventions systematically developed by the department itself, or alternatively the focus is on systematic testing of existing interventions. Measuring the outcomes is an important part of the implementation and evaluation process.

The department carries out interdisciplinary research projects, with an emphasis on possible practical applications. The projects concentrate on topics such as health promotion, prevention and rehabilitation, as well as the entire human life cycle – from birth right through to professional care in old age. Chronic conditions are another focus area.

Our research centres on the distinct perspectives and needs of all those affected – be it clients and their relatives or the various health experts involved. Another priority is finding ways to involve patients and doctors in evaluations.

The aim is to bring practice and research closer together.
 

Hebammen Studenten betrachten ein Lehrstück
Advanced Nurce Practice Studenten analysieren eine Blutzuckerabnahme
Gesundheits- und Krankenpflege Studenten üben am Patientenbett

Research focus areas: Department of Health Sciences

In the Department of Health Sciences we concentrate our research activities on the following main research focuses

Expanding the understanding of the concept of personalisation in the therapeutic environment to the "individual aspect" of the patient with the objective of tailoring the right therapy at the right point in time within the context of a successful therapeutic relationship.

Development of new technology, applications of existing technologies and their effect on health professionals, patients and their family members, analysis of opportunities and risks and of ethical questions.

Impacts of demographic change on the practice of health professionals, in particular later motherhood, regional socioeconomic disparities and ageing population.

Development, testing and evaluation of new therapeutic and care interventions with the objective of improving clinical practice (outcome research). Investigation of supporting and inhibiting factors for the development, testing and evaluation of new interventions with the objective of improving sustainable integration of outcomes into clinical practice (implementation research).

Investigation of the effects of preventive and curative applications on physical and mental wellbeing, primarily in respect of the potential for reducing stress, effects on social relations and the dose-effect relationship.

Health fair at IMC Krems

IMC Health Week

5 DAYS / 7 EVENTS

Musiktherapie Studentin spielt auf einer Harfe

Josef Ressel Centre

For establishing principles of personalised music therapy.

Over the last decade, the term “personalised medicine” has become increasingly important in the areas of pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, clinical diagnostics and in particular in chrono-pharmacology, which is concerned with the optimum time for administering medication. In 2016, IMC Krems responded to this development by setting up the Josef Ressel Centre for establishing principles of personalised music therapy, based in Krems.

Musiktherapie Studenten bei einer Paarübung

Music therapy: the power of sound

Positive resonance – including in patients with severe brain damage

This Josef Ressel Centre is dedicated to devising evidencebased scientific principles for personalised music therapy in selected areas of neurological rehabilitation. Many clinical case reports prepared in the course of the therapy process include descriptions of resonance experienced between the therapist and the patient. Such phenomena are difficult to comprehend scientifically, but are even described in accounts of music therapy treatment of patients with serious brain damage (e.g. traumatic brain injury, hypoxia, stroke, etc.).

Research projects

  • Department of Health Sciences
    health-sciences

    The occupational balance project for informal caregivers (TOPIC)

    It is estimated that in one in four families in Austria there is someone caring for another family member or a friend or acquaintance. Informal caregiving can lead to changes in lifestyle and living environment, including organisational challenges...

    It is estimated that in one in four families in Austria there is someone caring for another family member or a friend or acquaintance. Informal caregiving can lead to changes in lifestyle and living environment, including organisational challenges and physical and psychological burdens, and necessitate adaptation of the caregiver’s daily routines to accommodate the needs of the dependant. These changes and adaptations can in turn impact the caregiver’s health and wellbeing. The monotony of activities can restrict a healthy variety of activities. In occupational therapy and occupational science this mix of different activities is referred to as occupational balance. Until now caregivers’ occupational balance has not been systematically investigated.

     

    The aim is to describe caregivers' occupational balance and other health-related factors and to explore possible associations between caregivers' occupational balance and health and wellbeing based on the analysis of reliable and valid measurements.

    Additionally, we aim to give students the opportunity to gain research experience, to contribute to connecting the areas of research, education and clinical practice and to strengthen the cooperation between the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, the respective university clinics and hospitals of the NÖ Landeskliniken-Holding and the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences.

     

    The Project is funded by NÖGUS.

  • Department of Health Sciences
    health-sciences

    Smart Aggregation and Visualisation of Health Data (SMARAGD)

    The rapid spread of intelligent machines and systems is leading to massive changes in the workplace. Their use can be accompanied by both positive and negative changes in working conditions, with increased user-friendliness, but also with additional...

    The rapid spread of intelligent machines and systems is leading to massive changes in the workplace. Their use can be accompanied by both positive and negative changes in working conditions, with increased user-friendliness, but also with additional burdens. One example of this is hospital information systems, which are intended to support health personnel in accessing, processing and interpreting their patients’ health data. This human-computer interaction is often experienced as an additional burden in the daily work of health personnel and is also detrimental to the quality of treatment.

    To date, there is no intelligent system for the aggregation and visualisation of health data specific to any occupational group. Using the information needs of occupational therapists and physiotherapists as an example, SMARAGD intends to develop an intel-ligent aggregation and visualisation of health data that serves to generate knowledge from a plethora of information, which is the basis for further therapeutic intervention. The aim of this project is, therefore, to develop an example of a system for the intelli-gent aggregation and visualisation of patient data in line with the needs of occupational therapists and physiotherapists, meeting legal and factual requirements, and to pro-vide a technical proof of concept.

    Different and mixed designs and methods are used for this purpose. Based on a needs analysis, the group-specific knowledge needs of occupational therapists and physio-therapists will be collected and categorised using ethnographic semantics analysis and online surveys. Furthermore, the requirements for the aggregation and visualisation of the data are defined. Using semantic data analysis, unstructured data is evaluated and transformed into a structured form as a basis for further use. Applying a co-design ap-proach, a process-accompanying and result-oriented evaluation of the suitability of the developed SMARAGD system for everyday use is carried out. In addition, the legal framework for the development and application of an intelligent system for data ag-gregation and visualization will be identified, clarified and presented. The developed SMARAGD solutions can be taken up and subsequently implemented or further devel-oped for different groups of health professionals. The results of the project are to be published and subsequently contribute to the improvement of the human-computer interface and thus to the improvement of general working conditions.

    The project is led by Prof. (FH) Mona Dür, PhD, MSc, the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems. The SMARAGD project is a collaboration between the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, SYNYO GmbH, University of Graz, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Medical University of Graz, Know-Center GmbH Research Center for Data-Driven Business & Big Data Analytics and University of Vienna. SMARAGD is funded by the Austrian Research Funding Agency (FFG). Further information is available at www.smaragdprojekt.at.

  • Department of Health Sciences
    health-sciences

    Research competencies for the economy, Qualification seminar: "The Implementation of evidence-based midwifery practice".

    In many countries, midwives are the experts in caring for healthy pregnant women. Studies have demonstrated that continuous midwifery-led and evidence-based care models are safer and more effective than traditional obstetric care models. However, to...

    In many countries, midwives are the experts in caring for healthy pregnant women. Studies have demonstrated that continuous midwifery-led and evidence-based care models are safer and more effective than traditional obstetric care models. However, to achieve this, it is essential that midwives know, interpret and put into practice the latest research findings. This ensures a safe, transparent, effective and efficient healthcare and that the standards of midwifery care meet the expectations of pregnant women, their families and society.

     

    The implementation of evidence-based midwifery practice in Austria continues to be a professional challenge. It has been suggested that many health professionals find it difficult to implement evidence into their daily work, as they have to come to terms with competing priorities. Numerous organisational and individual barriers influence the implementation and acceptance of evidence-based practice. Studies indicate that barriers include a lack of resources and skills as the most common obstacles to the implementation and use of evidence in midwifery practice.

     

    Our aim is to provide midwives with extensive knowledge on how to implement evidence in their daily practice, by providing them with the opportunity to attend an evidence-based seminar tailored to midwifery personnel.

     

    The project is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency.

  • Department of Health Sciences
    health-sciences

    Horizons of personalised music therapy in neurorehabilitation

    The Josef Ressel Centre (JRC) takes a humanistic stance, approaching personalisation at a more communicative and psychophysiological level. As a consequence, the JRC carries out research into music therapy and not just into the effects of music....

    The Josef Ressel Centre (JRC) takes a humanistic stance, approaching personalisation at a more communicative and psychophysiological level. As a consequence, the JRC carries out research into music therapy and not just into the effects of music. Recognising that the “effects of (performing or listening to) music in the context of a therapeutic relationship” are very complex, the issue of personalisation of therapy is the JRC’s overriding research topic.

     

    The JRC’s new approach is geared towards personalisation and therefore combines research in the following two main Areas: Research on the psychophysiological disposition of the patient and the therapist and its influence on appropriate times of a therapy intervention for particular patients as well research on empathy-based therapeutic relationships in the light of selected psychophysiological correlates.

     

    The project is funded by Josef Ressel Centre Programme of the Christian Doppler Research Association, by NÖGUS and by s-team solutions GmbH.

  • Department of Health Sciences
    health-sciences

    Pilot Study: Measurement of empathy using the combination of psychometric and biometric procedures

    Ability for empathy applies in therapeutic work as essential factor of the relationship between patient and therapist and as crucial component during recovery. It is seen as a key factor in (musica-)therapeutic work to establish a confident,...

    Ability for empathy applies in therapeutic work as essential factor of the relationship between patient and therapist and as crucial component during recovery. It is seen as a key factor in (musica-)therapeutic work to establish a confident, therapeutic relationship between patient and therapist. Within this framework the therapist’s empathic care leads to a reduction of the opponent’s anxiety or rather stress reaction and enables a transformation into relaxation. In order to understand these processes it is necessary to explore empathy phenomenon. The focus of this project was the change of oxytocin-level in organisms in consequence of a empathic reaction caused by video sequences from clinic-therapeutic context.

     

    The Project was co-funded by the NÖGUS.

  • Department of Health Sciences
    health-sciences

    Positron Emission tomography (PET) and music therapy pilot study

    Brain injuries bring about a variety of physical and psychological complaints. The site and severity of the brain lesion is always a decisive factor for the patient’s outlook in terms of disability.

     

    Additionally, damage to the pathways between the...

    Brain injuries bring about a variety of physical and psychological complaints. The site and severity of the brain lesion is always a decisive factor for the patient’s outlook in terms of disability.

     

    Additionally, damage to the pathways between the brain centres can cause dysfunction in communication between them, and therefore secondary functional loss and processing problems. This results in neurological disorders such as poor concentration, attention and alertness.

     

    Music therapy can establish new communication paths in the brain and is therefore a promising form of therapy for rebuilding communication structures between brain centres. This process is of central importance in every course of neuro- rehabilitation therapy.

     

    The primary aim of the research was to determine the changes in brain activity (frontal lobe, hippocampus and cerebellum) and behaviour that can be brought about in vegetative state patients by means of music therapy. The project also examined if there are any links between changes in brain activity and behaviour.

     

    The project was co-financed by Niederösterreichischer Gesundheits- und Sozialfonds (NÖGUS).

  • Department of Health Sciences
    health-sciences

    The right moment - Pilot study on the representation of circadian and ultradian rhythms of patients in phase C neurorehabilitation by means of heart rate variability

    Over the last decade personalised medicine has become increasingly important in the fields of pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, clinical diagnostics, and in particular chronopharmacology, which is concerned with the optimal point in time for drug...

    Over the last decade personalised medicine has become increasingly important in the fields of pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, clinical diagnostics, and in particular chronopharmacology, which is concerned with the optimal point in time for drug delivery. However, with respect to therapeutic interventions (in a clinical context), there has been virtually no inquiry into the most beneficial time to give therapy in relation to a patient’s chronobiological rhythms. This project focused on the question of the ideal time to administer therapy in relation to individual biological rhythms, measured using heart rate variability (HRV).

     

    The primary aim was to establish how individual circadian and ultradian rhythms could be represented most effectively by means of HRV analysis.

     

    The project was financed by the Science and Research Department (K 3) of the Province of Lower Austria.

We celebrate the 25th anniversary of IMC Krems