Dipex Switzerland

DIPEx Switzerland is a group of researchers from the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (University of Zurich) and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences – School of Health Professions (ZHAW). We conduct narrative interview studies of people’s experiences of health issues and provide resources for information and support that are freely available for patients, family members, clinicians in training as well as teachers and researchers. The project aims at harnessing the power of patient voices to stimulate improvement. A systematic collection of evidence offers the chance to remedy lack of patient representation and to include low threshold exposure to patient experience into teaching materials that complement bedside teaching. We provide opportunities for interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaboration with other health professionals and aim at stimulate and establish the dialogue between health and the arts and design within the Medical Humanities.

Our Team

Nikola Biller-Andorno

Project Leader

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Nikola Biller-Andorno directs the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine as well as the Center for Medical Humanities, University of Zurich, Switzerland. She co-leads the PhD program “Biomedical Ethics and Law” and serves as Vice-President of the Clinical Ethics Committee of the University Hospital Zurich. In 2016, she was elected as Fellow of the Collegium Helveticum, an Institute of Advanced Study sponsored by the University of Zurich, the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, and the Zurich University of the Arts.

Andrea Glässel

Andrea Glässel has been a member of the DIPEx Swiss (Database of Individual Patient Experiences) team at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME) since 2017. She coordinates the module on experiencing multiple sclerosis (MS) from the point of view of patients. In addition to her research work at IBME, Andrea is a professor at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Winterthur, where she teaches students from various healthcare professions. She has been a trained physiotherapist since 1991 and worked for ten years in inpatient and outpatient neurorehabilitation. Since her studies in health sciences, she has been researching a holistic concept of biopsychosocial health, functioning and disability of the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2012, she wrote her doctoral thesis on: “Functioning and Disability after stroke: The perspective of the patient and medical professionals”.

Corine Mouton-Dorey

Corine Mouton-Dorey focuses her research on patient agency and accountability. Her PhD work on biomedical ethics identified the importance of the patients’voices in medical practice for better care, trust and justice in health. She has a practical experience with patients both as a cardiologist and as a qualitative researcher. She supports  the french-speaking part of the DIPEx project and work on the possibilities to enrich DIPEx process and outcomes with digital technology.

Giovanni Spitale

Giovanni Spitale is a PhD student in Bioethics at the University of Zurich. He studied Philosophy and Philosophical Sciences in Italy, where he also worked as a teacher, educator and communication expert. He has collaborated and collaborates with numerous associations related to the donation of blood, organs and bone marrow, concrete practices of humanity to which he has dedicated much of his studies and on which he has written two books: “Il Dono nelle Donazioni” (2015) and “Hestia” (2017).
He is a member of DIPEx.ch since the end of 2017, contributing as a research data manager and coordinator of the module on the experiences of young adults with hemato-oncological diseases.

Joel Strassberg

Joel Strassberg attends the Master’s program in philosophy and german language and literature at the University of Zurich. During his studies he focused mainly on the different intersections of these subjects, like narrative theory, philosophy of language, and discourse linguistics and analysis. Together with DIPEx.ch he’s currently working on his Master’s thesis about metacommunication in illness narratives of patients with chronic pain under the perspective of narration and conversation analysis.

Manya Hendriks

Manya Hendriks is a postdoctoral researcher in bioethics, who studied medical anthropology and bioethics in the Netherlands and Belgium. During her studies she has worked with the Right-to-Die Association in the Netherlands and investigated the international debate on end-of-life and palliative care in the Netherlands, Oregon (United States) and Switzerland. Since 2014 she has been living in Switzerland where she conducted her PhD on the attitudes and values of parents, health care professionals, and Swiss society on end-of-life care for extremely premature infants. She joined the DIPEx team at the end of 2017 and coordinates the module about experiences with dementia.

Martina Andrea Hodel

Martina Hodel obtained a Master’s degree in clinical psychology in 2015 from the Universities of Zurich and Humboldt (Berlin). After graduating as a clinical psychologist, she completed her PhD at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine in 2018. In her dissertation, she was concerned with ethical aspects in the treatment of patients with severe and persistent mental illness. Martina is on board of DIPEx since the very beginning, currently conducting interviews for several modules. In addition, she is in charge of coordinating the Chronic Pain module. Martina also works as a clinical psychologist on an acute psychiatric ward.

Mirriam Tyebally Fang

Mirriam Tyebally Fang is a PhD candidate, pursuing a degree in Bioethics at the University of Zurich. She is medical doctor by training, and has worked in the public hospital system in Singapore prior to her PhD. She has also been involved in teaching and developing the anatomy curriculum in medical school. Mirriam has been a member of DIPEx.ch since its inception, and leads a research module on pregnancy experiences in Switzerland.

Yolanda Chacón

Yolanda Chacón is a Spanish PhD student in medical bioethics, who studied law and translation of sign language. She worked for three years as volunteering teacher and translator in a Spanish deaf association. Her experience with people who suffered from deafness and blindness or psychiatric diseases, raised her awareness of health experiences of patients’ and their relatives. She has been living in Switzerland for five years already while specialising in medical bioethics. In 2016, she concluded her master thesis about the ethical and legal aspects of the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and she started her PhD in medical bioethics. In 2018, she joined the DIPEx group and since then coordinates the module about experiences with DBS. Currently, she combines her PhD research with her studies in biomedicine.

Tania Manríquez

Tania Manríquez is a PhD student in Bioethics at the University of Zurich. Her research focuses on the ethics of patient empowerment in mental health apps, the threats that theses apps pose to patient autonomy and their impact on our understanding of health.

As an anthropologist and ethicist, she has developed qualitative methodologies and conducted in-depth interviews on development, human rights and global health topics in Africa, Europe and Latin America. She has experience as a consultant and researcher in projects for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the European Commission, the Center for Development and Cooperation (NADEL, ETH Zurich), the Center for Child Well-Being and Development (University of Zurich) and the Human Rights Centre (University of Chile).
Tania joined DIPEx in 2019 and works as a researcher in the module “Experiences on Intensive Care Unit”.

Our Network

DIPEx Switzerland is a member of DIPEx International, a network of academic researchers in 13 countries around the world who produce digital health resources based on rigorous research into experiences of major illness and health-related conditions from the perspective of patients and family members.

DIPEx International was established in 2013 and its members use the methodology developed by the Health Experiences Research Group at the University of Oxford and the DIPEx charity, which together publish the award-winning healthtalk.org website.