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Project Details

Dialog Gesundheit ("Dialog Health") Switzerland

Photo of cover of Dialog Gesundheit's Wellness Guide
Project Summary: 

A Swiss health network, dialog-gesundheit (“dialogue–health”), was started in 2004 in the Swiss Canton of Bern, and has now spread across Switzerland. One of its goals is to improve health literacy and health competence. The network viewed HRA’s Wellness Guide and its participatory development process as a model for health officials and researchers in the town of Zollikofen. HRA’s association with dialog-gesundheit began when HRA Professor Emeritus S.Leonard Syme presented a paper at the 7th Swiss Health Promotion Conference in 2005.

In Switzerland, access to health information from local governments varies widely. An initial study about the future of family medicine by the Institute for Family Medicine at the University of Bern led to a series of forums in Zollikofen to assess the needs of the community. This is the foundation for the pilot guide, dialog-gesundheit Ratgeber, published in April 2011.

The guide helps people address a range of health, social, and economic problems. It encourages people to take actions to achieve more autonomy and a better quality of life. The guide is aimed at a broad population, especially those in need of medical and social services.

Ultimately, this pilot project will be extended so that every household in the region receives a copy.

Policy, Practice or Research Impacts: 

Research studies, including those from UC Berkeley, indicated that useful information resources to change behavior (guides, websites, prevention campaigns) must be developed together with community residents. Discussions are underway about how best to evaluate the Ratgeber and extend its reach to help empower communities throughout Switzerland.

Project Type: 
Contact Person: 
Andrea Spurgeon
Contact Person's Email Address:
Health Research for Action, UC Berkeley
Principal Investigators: 
The Dialog-Gesundheit program is directed by Dr. Michael Deppeler, a champion of patient-driven health promotion in primary care.
Website for Project or Program: 
Fachhochschule Bern (Polytechnic University); Health Promotion Switzerland (Foundation)
Health Promotion Switzerland (Foundation)
Location - Countries: 
Canton Bern, Switzerland
Publication Date: