Applied Health Intervention Research Unit

The interdisciplinary Applied Intervention Research Unit is concerned with the development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of interventions for health promotion and prevention of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors.

The aim of the research unit is to develop, evaluate and implement innovative and evidence-based interventions for health promotion and prevention of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors in order to contribute to the evidence-based prevention research of the BIPS.
The research of the unit focusses mainly on the following topics:

  • Physical activity and fitness
  • Diet
  • Mental health.

The target groups often concern children, young people, older adults and stakeholders. A specific focus is set on complex public health interventions and settings-based approaches to improving population health, including digital interventions. The group uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies and also conducts reviews with the aim of strengthening the evidence base of public health interventions. Participatory, approaches are becoming increasingly important in the research unit.

The qualifications within the research unit are diverse (public health, health sciences, psychology, sports sciences, geography, nutritional sciences) and the close cooperation with other departments at BIPS enables research projects to be conducted with interdisciplinary expertise. There is also close cooperation in the field of physical activity with the interdepartmental working group PAR.

It is of importance for the research unit that the research can be of direct, practical benefit to the population. In addition to science communication, the research unit has a long-standing tradition in the development and implementation of concepts with a focus on nutrition and health. Members of the research unit provide advice to institutions nationally, particularly day-care centers, on questions of nutrition and hygiene. In this context, consultations, trainings and seminars (internal, external) are offered as well as various information materials have been prepared.

Selected Publications

    Articles with peer review

  • Zeeb H, Brandes M, Bauer U, Forberger S, Gelius P, Müllmann S, Okan O, Pfeifer K, Renner B, Wright M. Perspektivpapier "Zukunft Präventionsforschung": Koordinierte Forschung zu Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung - Aktuell und in der Zukunft. Das Gesundheitswesen. 2023;85(4):388-394.
  • Szinay D, Forbes CC, Busse H, DeSmet A, Smit ES, König LM. Is the uptake, engagement and effectiveness of exclusively mobile interventions for the promotion of weight-related behaviors equal for all? A systematic review. Obesity Reviews. 2023;24(3):e13542.
  • De Santis KK, Jahnel T, Matthias K, Mergenthal L, Al Khayyal H, Zeeb H. Evaluation of digital interventions for physical activity promotion: Scoping review. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance. 2022;8(5):e37820.
  • Brandes B, Busse H, Sell L, Christianson L, Brandes M. A scoping review on characteristics of school-based interventions to promote physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness among 6- to 10-year-old children. Preventive Medicine. 2022;155:106920.
  • Busse H, Buck C, Stock C, Zeeb H, Pischke CR, Matos Fialho PM, Wendt C, Helmer S. Engagement in health risk behaviours before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in German university students: Results of a cross-sectional study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021;18(4):1410.
  • Saleem M, Kühne L, De Santis KK, Christianson L, Brand T, Busse H. Understanding engagement strategies in digital interventions for mental health promotion: Scoping review. JMIR Mental Health. 2021;8(12):e30000.
  • Wichmann F, Brandes M, Jahn I, Müllmann S, Peters M, Pischke CR, Zeeb H. DEVASYS - Entwicklung eines Online-Tools zur Unterstützung der systematischen Evaluation von Interventionsprojekten der Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung. Das Gesundheitswesen. 2020;82(12):1010-1017.
  • Wichmann F, Pischke CR, Jürgens D, Darmann-Finck I, Koppelin F, Lippke S, Pauls A, Peters M, Voelcker-Rehage C, Müllmann S. Requirements for (web-based) physical activity interventions targeting adults above the age of 65 years - Qualitative results regarding acceptance and needs of participants and non-participants. BMC Public Health. 2020;20:907.
  • Müllmann S, Buck C, Voelcker-Rehage C, Bragina I, Lippke S, Meyer J, Peters M, Pischke CR. Effects of two web-based interventions promoting physical activity among older adults compared to a delayed intervention control group in Northwestern Germany: Results of the PROMOTE community-based intervention trial. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2019;15:100958.
  • Steenbock B, Wright MN, Wirsik N, Brandes M. Accelerometry-based prediction of energy expenditure in preschoolers. Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour. 2019;2(2):94-102.
  • Steenbock B, Buck C, Zeeb H, Rach S, Pischke CR. Impact of the intervention program "JolinchenKids - Fit and Healthy in Daycare" on energy balance related-behaviors: Results of a cluster controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics. 2019;19:432.
  • Brandes M, Steenbock B, Wirsik N. Energy cost of common physical activities in preschoolers. Journal of Physical Activity & Health. 2018;15(4):233-238.
  • Editorials

  • Busse H, Samkange-Zeeb F, Moore G. Editorial: Socioeconomic status and health in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. Frontiers in Public Health. 2022;10:1042331.

Current Projects

Only currently running projects or those where publications are still in preparation or those that ended less than a year ago will be shown. The entries are sorted alphabetically.


Atens-Kahlenberg, Wiebke von
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56910
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Brandes, Mirko, PD Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56905
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Bücking, Brigitte
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56909
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Busse, Heide, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56912
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

De Santis, Karina Karolina, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56908
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Gill, Sehajpreet
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56903
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Meuer, Janina
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56916

Ochterbeck, Doris
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56925
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Soltani, Nazli
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56786
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Wijekoon Mudiyanselage, Kalpani W.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56916
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56916

Mirko Brandes
Interims Head of Unit

PD Dr. rer. medic Mirko Brandes
Tel: +49 (0)421 218-56905
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941