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.

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.

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 Parkinsons’ disease, DBS and Duodopa pump. 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”.

Andrea Radvanszky

Andrea Radvanszky is sociologist and a qualitative researcher. She is responsible for the DIPEx Swiss Module Dementia. In her PhD « the social diagnosis of dementia » which she is currently finalizing at the University of Leipzig she focuses on patient-caregiver relationship and the impact of rule breaking behavior on identity and illness constructions. Her research addresses the empirically funded dementia care ethics which reference point is not the self-conscious and free individual but the social relationship.

Sebastian Wäscher

Sebastian Wäscher is a post-doctoral researcher in bioethics. After graduating in communication science, philosophy, and sociology at the University of Münster, Germany, he became a research assistant at the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine in Bochum, Germany. Since 2015 he is a member of the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine in Zürich and since 2019, he is a member of the DIPEx group.
Sebastian has established a proven expertise in qualitative research methods over the past years. He conducted research in various field of biomedical ethics like, personalized medicine, end-of-life decision making, methodological questions of empirical-ethics, evaluation of clinical ethics support service, scientific responsibility, pregnancy and prenatal testing, and research integrity.
Since 2021, he is the coordinator of the DIPEx module on rare diseases.

Susanne Jöbges

Dr. med. Susanne Jöbges works as a postdoctoral researcher in bioethics. She holds a degree in anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine and a masters degree in medical ethic. She’s been working as a consultant for anaesthesiology in the department for anaesthesioloy and intensive care (head of the department Prof. Dr. med. C. Spies) at the charité Berlin. On an intensive care unit she was leading senior assistant.

After she joined the DIPEx team in May 2019 and coordinates the module about experiences with self-determination and intensive care.

Bettina Schwind

Bettina Schwind joined the DIPEx Switzerland team at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME) in 2019 and is implementing the module “chronic pain”. The module explores the question of how people with chronic pain experience their everyday life and the Swiss health and social system. She also coordinates the MAS in Insurance Medicine at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and teaches on topics such as qualitative social research and gender and health. In her dissertation, which she completed in 2016, she researched different gynaecological care settings in Switzerland using a medical sociological approach with a gender perspective. Since then, she has specifically expanded her research skills to include participatory research approaches as well as migration and diversity in health care, also in various applied research and evaluation projects.

Kristina Würth

Kristina Würth is a social anthropologist and medical ethicist. She joined the DIPEx team in October 202 and works as a scientific collaborator in the module “Chronic Pain”. After studying social anthropology in Basel, she completed her PhD in medical ethics. In her PhD thesis, she used an ethnographic approach to explore perspectives on shared communication and interaction between patients of Turkish and Albanian origin and healthcare providers. After her PhD, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Clinical Ethics at the University Hospital Basel (USB), mainly conducting research in the field of ethics consultations with patients of diverse origin. She now also works as Clinical Ethicist in the Clinical Ethics Department of the USB.

Our Network

DIPEx Switzerland is a member of DIPEx International, a network of academic researchers in 14 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.

Advisory board

  • Prof. Irene Abderhalden, Hochschule Soziale Arbeit FHNW, Olten
  • Paula Adomeit, Direktorin Pflege, Inselspital Bern
  • Karine Begey, stv. Direktorin Alzheimer Schweiz, Bern
  • Prof. Jacques Cornuz, Ärztlicher Direktor, Unisanté Lausanne
  • Prof. Luca Crivelli, Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano
  • Daniela de la Cruz, Geschäftsführerin Krebsliga Schweiz, Bern
  • Susanne Hochuli, Präsidentin SPO Patientenschutz, Zürich
  • Prof. Antje Horsch, Institut universitaire de formation et de recherche en soins, CHUV / UNIL, Lausanne
  • Prof. Sabina Hunziker, Leitende Ärztin Medizinische Kommunikation, Universitätsspital Basel
  • Dr. Jacqueline Martin, CEO Careum Hochschule Gesundheit, Zürich
  • Prof. Arnaud Perrier, Ärztlicher Direktor, Universitätsspital Genf
  • Prof. Daniel Scheidegger, Vizepräsident SAMW, Bern
  • Liliane M.W. Waldner, Dipl. Betriebswirtin, Patientenvertreterin, Zürich