Each partner institution of the SLHS is working on a specific topic that will lead to Policy Briefs and Stakeholder Dialogues. The listed topics have been selected by means of a prioritization process taking into account their scientific and policy relevance.

International clinical guidelines for knee osteoarthritis management in Switzerland

International clinical guidelines for the conservative management of knee osteoarthritis (OA) recommend exercise, education, and weight control as first-line treatment for all people with knee OA. However, findings from various health care settings have identified an underuse of exercise and education. A recent survey among medical specialists in Switzerland identified an evidence-performance gap, implying that the strong evidence in favour of exercise is not being transferred into clinical practice. This policy brief describes the challenges facing the improvement of conservative disease management by presenting recommendations regarding i) tanslation of guideline recommendations into a specific exercise and education programme ii) facilitation of the systematic application of exercise through standardised treatment pathways and iii) promotion of the benefits of exercise in the long-term management of chronic diseases.


Representatives from research and practice

SLHS Lead: Institute of Physiotherapy, ZHAW (Zurich University of Applied Sciences)
Policy Brief: Download PDF
Key Messages: Download PDF
Stakeholder dialogue summary:

Will follow soon

Design principles of a central metadata repository as a key element of an integrated health information system

The Swiss Health System is a complex system with different groups of actors for which data is collected and analyzed using various methods, leading to a large heterogeneity and dispersion of available data. The specificities of a Swiss Health System favor a hybrid infrastructure to manage the heterogeneity and dispersion of Swiss health-related data. This policy brief shows the importance of a metadata management infrastructure to identify and describe health data resources and highlights several essential key elements for the design of a metadata repository and also raises important practical questions.


Representatives from the IT sector, policy, and health research

SLHS Lead: Information management institute, University of Neuchatel
Policy Brief: Download PDF
Key Messages: Download PDF
Stakeholder dialogue summary:

Download PDF

Discrimination in case of impotence

The Code of Law of the Roman Catholic Church contains an impediment to the marriage of impotence. It says that someone can only get married if the person can engage in sexual intercourse. To forbid marriage due to this reason poses discrimination for the people concerned because entering marriage is a fundamental and human right that cannot be exercised. This learning cycle meets the challenge to examine and eliminate the discrimination of people with a disability posed by the law of the Roman Catholic Church, by presenting information on i) the signing of the convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the Holy See with the consequence of a legislative adjustment, ii) the revision and discussion of the natural justice of the impediment to the marriage of impotence and iii) the discussion of the implementation/third-party effect of the fundamental rights.

Stakeholder(s): Canon law experts, lawyers, social workers
SLHS Lead: Center for Comparative Constitutional Law and Religion (ZRV), University of Lucerne
Policy Brief I: Will follow soon 
Policy Brief II: Will follow soon 
Key Messages: Download PDF (Currently only available in German)
Summary of stakeholder dialogue(s): Will follow soon 

Advanced practice nurses in general practice

For reasons such as non-standardized final competencies for Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) or the lack of role definitions, APNs are not sufficiently employed in general practitioners' (GP) practices in Switzerland. APNs are already taking over GPs' activities on their own responsibility, however these are performed in a "grey area" and are associated with many uncertainties. The aim is to leave this "grey area" and to promote the implementation of new care models with APNs in Swiss GP practices. To this end, this policy brief recommends (1.) clarifying and expanding the roles of APNs in primary care, as well as (2.) clarifying the training and legal framework for the employment of APNs (available only in german)

Stakeholder(s): Representatives from practice, education, health insurances and policy
SLHS Lead: Dipartimento economia aziendale, sanità e sociale, SUPSI and Institut für Hausarztmedizin & Community Care Luzern
Policy Brief: Download PDF (Currently only available in German)
Key Messages Download PDF (Currently only available in German)
Stakeholder dialogue summary: Download PDF (Currently only available in German)

Strengthening Social Participation of Socially Disadvantaged Older Adults in Switzerland

Social isolation and loneliness in the elderly have a number of negative health consequences and are particularly harsh for the socially disadvantaged. Strengthening social participation of socially disadvantaged older people can contribute to reducing social isolation and loneliness and the associated health inequalities in this group. This learning cycle approaches the challenge of increasing social participation among the socially disadvantaged elderly by providing evidence-based insights on i) improved methods of outreach, ii) the inclusion of target groups in the planning and implementation of programs, and iii) improved program evaluation considering socially disadvantaged groups.

Health Promotion Switzerland, Program Leaders
 SLHS lead: Department of Health Sciences and Medicine, University of Lucerne
 Policy brief: Download PDF
 Key Messages: Download PDF
 Summary of stakeholder dialogue: Download PDF (Currently only available in German)

Hospital Pastoral Care and Privacy

Greater awareness for the right for data protection leads to conflicts in the collaboration between hospitals and hospital pastors. This Policy Brief examines how the involvement of pastoral care in hospitals in the canton of Zurich can be better regulated in terms of legal requirements for patient data protection. In order to change the current situation, it is recommended (1.) to take the Palliative Care Concept as a model, (2.) to change the cantonal and federal legislation and (3.) to use the digital patient file to improve the holistic approach to treatment. 

Stakeholder(s): Representatives from practice, education, and legislation
SLHS lead: Center for Comparative Constitutional Law and Religion, University of Lucerne
Policy brief:

Download PDF (Currently only available in German)

Key Messages  Download PDF (Currently only available in German)
Stakeholder dialogue summary:

Download PDF (Currently only available in German)

Additional Information:

Download PDF (Currently only available in German)

This handout was developed in the context of the policy brief and stakeholder dialogue. It provides information on the right for hospital pastoral care and the access to patient data for the canton of Zurich. It is meant to serve as a basis for discussions and analysis in the hospital setting. (Currently only available in German)

Swiss Learning Health System
University of Lucerne
Department of Health Sciences and Medicine
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6002 Lucerne
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