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Citizen Science Zurich

Ill and healthy at the same time - (How) is it possible?


The image of health that is currently transported by the media is often determined by fitness models, diet influencers and lifestyle coaches. Their credibility is based on their own apparent health. We seem to believe that those who dispose of health are also those who can teach us about it. Our project follows a different path by looking for health where it may be hidden - among people with severe and multiple physical and mental illnesses as well as social disadvantages. Those who are always well will not have to develop strategies to cope with hardship. In contrast, those who suffer from chronic illness will have to change their approach to life so that it becomes livable nonetheless. According to a modern understanding, such capacity for adaptation is the key to health.

About the project

Our project thus aims to explore if health can be found in the lives of patients of the Sune-Egge hospital in Zurich, a specialized hospital for socially disadvantaged patients with physical and mental illnesses. As researchers, we will listen, share the daily lives and collect evidence of health. Then, we will try to extract and understand what we have gathered in a joined effort together with the patients themselves, significant others, volunteers and staff members of the hospital. At the end of the project, we hope to have reached a more complex, profound and real-life understanding of health.

Weiterführende Informationen


Florian Riese, Dr. med.
University Research Priority Program Dynamics of Healthy Aging
University of Zurich
Research Group Riese

Mohannad Abou Shoak, Dr. med.
Fachspital Sune-Egge

URPP Dynamics of Healthy Aging, University of Zurich

Fachspital Sune-Egge