SRH Hochschule für Gesundheit

Doctoral students

Health thinkers on the road to success!

Currently, four female colleagues are doing their doctorates at our SRH University of Applied Health Sciences. They will continue to advance health research with exciting, real-life research projects.

Julia König

Development of therapy material for the disorder acquired dyslexia within the framework of a connectionist speech processing model

  • Staff member of the course of studies: Speech therapy, Bachelor of Science, training integrated
  • Supervisors: Prof. Dr. habil. J. Cholewa, Prof. Dr. habil. Claudia Wahn, Juergen Cholewa
  • Institute/institution: Heidelberg University of Education
  • Status: material creation (December 2018). 
    • Conceptualization of which data to collect with which statistical tests.
    • Collection of data from healthy subjects regarding typicality (n=20), degree of abstractness (n=20) and collection of trait norms (n=20) --> evaluation of data for material creation
  • Contact: Julia König,

Written language disorders, especially reading disorders (so-called dyslexias) can occur as a consequence of brain damage. Patients suffering from dyslexia are considerably restricted in their everyday life. The therapeutic options have not yet been sufficiently investigated (Leff & Behrmann, 2008). The aim of the PhD project is to derive therapy materials based on a connectionist language processing model and to investigate which predictions the model can make for dyslexia therapy and how effective the new materials are. The first step is to create therapy materials based on a connectionist language processing model. To investigate the question of what predictions a connectionist language processing model can make for therapy of acquired reading disorder and how effective the therapy materials derived on the basis of this type of model are, a single case series of approximately 14-20 patients suffering from dyslexia after brain injury will be conducted. Patients will be assigned to the appropriate therapy group based on diagnostic results and will then undergo two phases of therapy. The effectiveness and stability of possible effects will be assessed in follow-up sessions. Patients' performance will be assessed before therapy and after therapy using diagnostic, baseline and followup measurement time points as well as unpracticed items to demonstrate possible therapy effects. The patients' language changes will be interpreted against the theoretical background of network models and, if necessary, a comparison with serial-oriented models will be made.

Annette Rustemeier-Holtwick

Digitally supported forms of learning in nursing: professional demands and potentials

  • Staff of the study program: Speech therapy, Bachelor of Science, training-integrated
  • Institute/Institution: University of Witten-Herdecke
  • Supervisors: Prof. Dr. U. Walkenhorst and Prof. Dr. habil. Claudia Wahn
  • Status: start of dissertation in 2017; planned submission of dissertation: end of 2020
  • Contact: Annette Rustemeier-Holtwick, 

The aim is to elicit what contribution digitally supported learning can make to the development of a learning care. Learning nursing care is characterized by taking up new knowledge, reflecting on it and using it productively to further develop one's own practice and (...) the quality of one's actions. The acquisition of knowledge is understood as a natural part of professional action (Schaeffer 2006 p. 2). Specifically, it should be clarified with which means/methods the learning process of knowledge acquisition can be supported, what are helpful forms of learning with regard to the further development of one's own professional practice and what contributes to making learning a natural part of professional action. It is to be determined to what extent and under what conditions the format of digital learning can support the process of transferring scientific knowledge into practically relevant knowledge. It is also to be investigated to what extent this learning format is able to anchor individualized learning strategies and concepts and which competencies promoted by digital learning are helpful for the process of connecting the members of the profession. In order to capture the significance of digital supported learning formats for the development of learning nursing, a qualitatively oriented research design is used (Mayring 2007). Specifically, a qualitative experiment is combined with a subsequent expert interview (Mayring 2007, Kleining 1986, Burkart 2010, Gläser u. Laudel 2010, Brinkmann, Deeke, Völkel 1995). The advantage of combining these methods is that participants in the qualitative experiment actively engage in a learning process by using digitally supported learning formats. The qualitative experiment is planned as a laboratory experiment in which two micro-learning units that have already been tested are used (Sieger et. al. 2015 p. 78 ff.). Titles of the micro-learning units are: Pathways to new knowledge - own inquiries to science using the example of dealing with MRSA and consultation as a method of decision-making. "Nurse, I have a question?". The interpretations, perspectives, and attitudes collected in the qualitative experiment will be explored in more depth in the subsequent expert interviews. The theoretical sampling consists of two groups: Group one consists of professionally experienced nursing professionals who have already undergone a digitally supported continuing education process. The focus of continuing education here was on the transfer of evidence-based knowledge into nursing practice. Group two (comparison group) also consists of professionally experienced nursing professionals with, however, different experiences with digitally supported forms of learning. At this stage, eight qualitative experiments in groups of 2 and 3 and 17 expert interviews have been conducted.

The evaluation is done according to the content structuring content analysis according to Kuckartz (2018). After the initiating text work, the main categories were formed deductively. The category system of group one is completely created and consists of the main categories: One's own learning process, Media didactic and technical design, Selection of topics and didactic design, Specific framework conditions with impact on learning and Profession-specific prerequisites and developments. The subcategories were obtained inductively. The content structuring content analysis of group one is completed in 2021, at the same time the results of the expert interviews of group two are transcribed, classified into main and subcategories and evaluated. In addition to the completion of the empirical investigation, the presentation of results and revision of the theoretical framework will take place in 2021.

Carolin Thiel

Evaluation of an intervention to increase aftercare utilization behavior of rehabilitants with mental and behavioral disorders.

  • Staff member of the study program: Psychology, Bachelor of Science and Mental Health and Psychotherapy, Master of Science as well as scientific officer of the university management
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Frese
  • Institute/Institution: Martin-Luther-University-Halle/Wittenberg, Faculty of Medicine
  • Status: completion of the main survey and evaluation of the second sub-survey (March 2019).
  • Contact: Carolin Thiel, 

Psychosomatic rehabilitation comprises the second largest share of all rehabilitation treatments. The most common clinical pictures in psychosomatic rehabilitation include in particular depression, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Owing to their course, which often persists for years, these mental disorders can severely impair the activities and participation in working life and increase the risk of a permanent loss of earning capacity of those affected. An outpatient rehabilitation aftercare, which follows an inpatient psychosomatic rehabilitation treatment, should reduce the risk of recurrent disturbance courses in the long term and support a successful re-entry into working life. The primary aim of the study is to evaluate the aftercare utilization behavior of outpatient rehabilitation follow-up of rehabilitants with mental and behavioral disorders. The study is divided into a two-stage qualitative research design, which is implemented with the help of semi-structured guideline-supported expert interviews. Group leaders of outpatient rehabilitation aftercare in Central Germany (Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt) are considered as experts. The first step is to find out how the experts from the rehab sector assess the quality of outpatient rehab aftercare and where exactly a need for optimization can be seen. In addition, the focus is on possible reasons that lead to patients dropping out of outpatient rehab aftercare. In the second step, another guideline-based interview round follows, in which the group leaders are presented in advance with an intervention tool (intervention diary) to strengthen the compliance of the patients, the (impact) of which on participation in outpatient rehab aftercare and the possibilities of implementation in the therapeutic setting are to be assessed. The collected data of both surveys are processed and evaluated with the Qualitative Content Analysis according to Mayring. The results of the first part of the survey show that all the experts interviewed see outpatient rehabilitation aftercare as an important instrument for stabilizing the rehabilitation results achieved in inpatient treatment, in order to anchor them sustainably in everyday life and especially in working life. The average dropout rate of outpatient aftercare is about 15 percent, which is mainly due to structural reasons. The experts surveyed also see this as the greatest need for optimization, including a lack of comprehensive regional rehab aftercare services and adequate management of access routes from the inpatient to the outpatient setting. The results of the second part of the study are still pending. The results of the second part of the study show the practical relevance of the intervention tool described above and provide information on the content and organizational design for the most effective use in outpatient rehabilitation aftercare.

Body image and obesity (working title)

  • Staff member of the study program: Mental Health and Psychotherapy, Master of Science
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. habil. Claudia Luck-Sikorski
  • Institute/Institution: University of Leipzig, Faculty of Medicine
  • Status: Preparation of the third article
  • Contact:

English Abstract:

Individuals with obesity are not just vulnerable to physiological impairment, but face negative psychological consequences as well. Due to its high prevalence and thus overlap in affected individuals in the population with obesity, depression has been of particular interest regarding potential negative psychological consequences. Next to the degree of obesity and social class, negative body image is considered as a potential mediator of the relationship between obesity and depression. However, since not all individuals with obesity are equally vulnerable to psychological impairment and discontent with one’s body shape, size or weight is widespread among normal-weight individuals as well, identifying which individuals with obesity are at risk is particularly important for improving prevention and treatment efforts. Our findings contribute to existing research on the topic in several ways: The review serves as a current overview of the ongoing research and systematically explores the degree of body satisfaction in individuals with obesity compared to normalweight individuals. In addition, gender differences in body image across studies were analysed. The findings underlined the severity of negative body image among individuals with obesity and especially among women. Moreover, in our second article we were able to analyse data of a large population based sample of men and women with obesity. Since the majority of research on the topic has been conducted in English-speaking countries and has largely focused on women in the past, our study provides evidence for the importance of body image in the relationship between obesity and depressive symptoms in individuals with obesity in Germany and adds to the still growing literature on the nature of body image in men with obesity.