Scientific focus areas

The majority of research at the Department of Public Health Programmes relates to cancer screening and addresses one or more of our four main scientific research areas:

1. Cross-programme synergies in cancer screening

Health seeking behaviour in terms of participation in cancer screening, risk of positive screening results, risk of having a cancer detected etc. may or may not be associated between the cancer screening programmes. Under this theme, such possible associations are explored, and interventions are developed and tested. The overall aim is to gain benefit from synergies across cancer screening programmes whenever it is meaningful.

2. Increasing participation in cancer screening

Participation is a key factor in securing the effectiveness of cancer screening programmes. Reducing barriers by use of e.g. self-sampling procedures, securing easy access to appropriate information and decision aids, developing and evaluating refined reminder systems, and developing tailored interventions to vulnerable groups may contribute to increase participation. Under this theme, associations are explored and interventions are developed and tested. The overall aim is to increase (informed) participation in all cancer screening programmes and among all groups of citizens.

3. Effectiveness and consequences of cancer screening

Introducing and maintaining cancer screening is a delicate balance between benefits and harms while taking into consideration a better prognosis with possibly less treatment, changes in demand of resources in the health care system, false test-results, overdiagnoses, and citizens' desires. The balance may change over time as treatment and diagnostic procedures change or improve, and as prevalence of relevant risk-factors change within the community. Under this theme, register-based evaluation of effectiveness and use of health care resources are combined with citizen's perspectives on the subject. The overall aim is to secure relevant and continuous explorative focus on the benefit-harm ratio of cancer screening programmes for citizens and the health care system.

4. Diagnostics and screening derived clinical procedures

Positive cancer screening results require subsequent clinical procedures of highest possible standards. Such procedures may require special attention when a new screening programme is introduced, and the need for diagnostic procedures rapidly increases, when new age-groups are targeted or when background risk factors change in the community. Under this theme, collaboration with clinical departments is of special importance. The overall aim is to contribute to, develop, and evaluate diagnostics and screening derived clinical procedures in order to continuously secure the highest possible outcome of cancer screening programmes.

Strategic focus areas

The University Research Clinic has a continuous emphasis on five strategic focus areas:

1. Linking research and operation

The organisation of all cancer screening programmes in Central Denmark Region in the Department of Public Health Programmes offers a unique possibility for linking research and operations within the Department.

Accordingly, a major part of the research projects initiated by the University Research Clinic arises from questions derived from the operation, administration, or observations of non-conformities in the programmes and in the data registered in the quality databases.

In return, the Department strives to implement relevant scientific results in the screening programmes of Central Denmark Region as well as in the national guidelines through the collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

2. Prioritizing visibility

The University Research Clinic prioritises visibility of its research activities. Research results are published in international peer-reviewed journals (preferably open access) and disseminated through presentations at international conferences and national meetings, the University Research Clinic's website, in the media through press releases, on social media, and by offering information about our research projects to stakeholders and scientific societies.

Press coverage and social media are handled in close cooperation with the Communication Unit at Randers Regional Hospital. In addition, visibility is a key factor when recruiting master and PhD students, and in this respect the University Research Clinic benefits from its activities in pre- and post-graduate training at Aarhus University.

3. Establishing collaborations

The University Research Clinic aims to strengthen existing and establish new research collaborations with well-established and recognised research units – regionally, nationally and internationally. It is furthermore a priority for the University Research Clinic to have a close collaboration with Aarhus University as well as relevant clinical and paraclinical departments in Central Denmark Region.

Collaboration stimulates research activities at a high scientific level to the benefit of the citizens, the patients, and the healthcare system in general.

4. Valuing multidisciplinarity

The University Research Clinic values the use of different scientific disciplines and methods, and seek to cultivate the synergies between Health Sciences, Social Studies, and Humanities. The aim is to study topics from new perspectives in order to optimise practice in the screening programmes. Hence, a variety of researchers with different educational qualifications are employed in the University Research Clinic.

Furthermore, collaborations with external departments and/or individual researchers with competences that supplement the existing research skills in the University Research Clinic are encouraged.

5. Stimulating a positive and rewarding daily research and learning environment

The University Research Clinic prioritises a rewarding and inspiring daily research and learning environment for PhD students and younger researchers. This is achieved by offering good and supportive working facilities and forums for knowledge sharing, e.g. through supervision, research meetings, journal clubs, and a daily presence of senior researchers in the University Research Clinic.

More information

For more information, please contact:

Professor and Head of Department
Berit Andersen
Phone: +45 78 42 01 71