How to achieve effective interdisciplinarity in digital public health practice
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SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Socia Policy, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Leibniz ScienceCampus Digital Public Health Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Institute for Information, Health and Medical Law (IGMR), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Institute for Public Health and Nursing Sciences (IPP), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Leibniz Institut for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS GmbH, Bremen, Germany
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A646
Their interdisciplinary nature characterizes health, especially public health: Some involved disciplines address an individuals health or set the framework for health practices (e.g., law, medicine, psychology, ethics, or sociology). Others measure health outcomes on a population level (e.g., epidemiology) or develop interventions to improve the populations health (e.g., health promotion, health management, or implementation science). Since health and public health are becoming increasingly digitalized, this adds new and essential disciplines to develop and improve evidence-based digital technologies and innovations (e.g., human-computer interaction, computer science, or engineering). Having various disciplines collaborating can offer new opportunities but also create new challenges if there is no mutual understanding of digital public health. Therefore, this skill-building workshop Aims to foster awareness of interdisciplinary approaches in public health research and practice. Two presentations will set the workshops frame and foster mutual understanding of the key terms: Interdisciplinarity and (digital) public health. Given its interdisciplinary field, public health scientists often claim to facilitate health-related interdisciplinary research and practice. However, little is known regarding whether it is merely a descriptive term or whether normative expectations are also associated with it. We emphasize that a mutual understanding of the term enables successful interdisciplinary research and practice. Therefore, the first presentation by Merle Freye will give an overview of the concept of interdisciplinarity. Building on the terms clarification, the talk will draw on the practical challenges of interdisciplinary research and best practice examples for promoting such competencies. During the second talk, Laura Maaß will describe traditional public health core functions and how they relate to other disciplines in the social, natural, and environmental sciences and humanities. Further, the talk will highlight how the extension to digital public health influenced the so-called system of sub-disciplines that form public health. We will illustrate the challenges and opportunities that arise from this complex view of (digital) public health and how to approach them accordingly. Building on knowledge gained in the first presentation, participants will hear about the need to combine discipline-related knowledge to tackle public health issues and achieve the goal of population health promotion. The participants will be invited to discuss the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary collaborations in three small groups after the introductory talks. The groups will focus on the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary collaborations during a mobile mental health apps development, evaluation, or implementation. For this, theyll receive support from experts in law, ethics, public health, health promotion, epidemiology, psychology, and human-computer interaction. Afterward, the groups will present their Results in plenary and discuss how to best approach interdisciplinary practice and research and what they deem crucial requirements. Workshop Objectives: Our workshops primary objective is to raise awareness regarding the opportunities for interdisciplinarity in (digital) public health. The second goal is to sensitize participants to a mindset characterized by empathy and curiosity toward other disciplines. Workshop key questions: How can one efficiently incorporate other disciplines through interdisciplinary approaches in (digital) public health projects? How can different disciplines communicate more effectively?