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The research area "Prevention" headed by Prof. Gertraud (Turu) Stadler and Dr. Johanna Drewelies focuses on the dynamics of health behaviour in individuals and couples. One focus is gender-sensitive prevention. We work on the following questions and topics:

Which intervention strategies lead to a sustainable change in health behaviour in prevention?
What mechanisms lead to health behaviour change?
How does the social environment influence changes in affect,behaviour, well-being and health?

Head of Prevention research

Prof. Dr. Gertraud (Turu) Stadler

Director - Institute Gender in Medicine (GiM)

CVK: Campus Virchow-Klinikum

Foto: Isabel Machado Rios

Current projects

Couples intervention – goal pursuit

Our study aims to investigate the interaction of individual and dyadic regulation using a randomised intervention design. This will focus on a self-regulation intervention compared to a dyadic regulation intervention with a paired waitlist control. We will record physical activity using accelerometers over a 16-week period. Pairs will complete daily diaries to record the use of self-regulation and dyadic regulation strategies in everyday life and to explore the key mechanisms underlying self-regulation (including self-efficacy, outcome expectations, goals, planning and self-monitoring) and dyadic regulation (including support and companionship).

Project duration: 01.07.2020-30.09.2024

Funding: Gender Research in Medicine (GIM)

PI: Prof. Gertraud (Turu) Stadler

Research assistants: Dr. Johanna Drewelies, Julia Roseman, Matthias Licha

Cooperation partners: Dr. Eran Bar-Kalifa

Dr. Ophir Katzenelenbogen (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Nina Knoll

PhD students: Julia Roseman


Despite serious consequences, heavy drinkers who do not seek abstinence rarely seek treatment. Newer methods such as internet screening and mobile apps offer the opportunity to target and treat this hard-to-reach population. In this project, we examine the effect of adaptive text messaging over a 12-week period on weekly alcohol consumption compared to weekly mobile drinking monitoring alone. We will compare it to non-adaptive tailored messaging and a weekly mobile assessment to understand how automated mobile messaging can help individuals reduce their alcohol consumption using their existing mobile phones.
Project duration: 01.09.2017-31.08.2022

Funding: NIAAA

Head of project: Fred Muench

Head of Evaluation: Prof. Gertraud (Turu) Stadler

Research assistants: Prof. Gertraud (Turu) Stadler


The prevalence of risky alcohol use is much higher among people in contact with the criminal justice system (73%) than in the general population (35%). However, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABI) in reducing risky alcohol use among people in the criminal justice system, including the prison system and particularly those on remand. Building on previous work, APPRAISE (A two-arm parallel group individually randomised Prison Pilot study of a male Remand Alcohol Intervention for Self-efficacy Enhancement) is a pilot study designed to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of an ABI for male remand prisoners. The results of APPRAISE will provide the information needed to design a future definitive randomised controlled trial (RCT).

Project duration: 2018-2021

Funding: NIHR 

Head of project: Prof. Aisha Holloway 

Research assistants: Jamie B. Smith: 

Project partner: Prof. Gertraud (Turu) Stadler

Developing a Taxonomy of Dyadic Behavior Change Techniques

Health-promoting behaviors such as physical activity, healthy eating or condom use, as well as health-damaging behaviors such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, often have a social component. Dyadic relationships are one of the most important social contexts. However, most behavior change techniques and intervention techniques are at the individual level (e.g., goal setting, self-control). Therefore, is an important next step to understand dyadic processes in health behavior change and identify systematic and reliable dyadic behavior change techniques. The Developing a Taxonomy of Dyadic Behavior Change Techniques project seeks to address this issue. The goal is to develop and evaluate a comprehensive and reliable taxonomy of theory-based unambiguous, clear, and concise dyadic behavior change techniques (DBCTs) to improve an individual's health (e.g., physical activity, diet) or health-damaging behaviors (e.g., smoking, alcohol use). 

Project duration: 05.2021-04.2024

Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and German Research Foundation (DFG)

PI: Dr. Corina Berli (University of Zurich, Switzerland) 

Co-Investigator: Prof. Gertraud (Turu) Stadler, Prof. Dr. Urte Scholz, Prof. Dr. Nina Knoll

Project partner: Caterina Gawrilow (University of Tübingen) 

Research assistants: Dharneeka Jeyam, Selina Caviezel, Dr. Karoline Villinger 

PhD students: Sally di Maio 

Rauchzeichen - Berlin

Smoking habits play a central role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. In Germany, more than 140,000 people (7% of all deaths in Germany) die annually from the consequences of tobacco consumption. Successful prevention must start as early as possible.

"Smoke Signs- Berlin" is funded by the German Heart Foundation and will adapt the successfully implemented prevention project, "Smoke Signs- Frankfurt", to change smoking behavior, specifically looking at younger people and shisha smoking. The focus will be on younger people with low socio-economic status and a consideration of gender differences in smoking behavior.

In the development and execution of the prevention project, the Institute for Gender Research in Medicine is collaborating with the German Heart Foundation, "Teach First" and "Mind Prevention". In the long term, the project is to be implemented with multipliers (medical students, male/female physicians) at the state and national level.

Status: Project preparation

Project duration: 06/2022 - 05/2025

Funding: German Heart Foundation e.V.

Project management: Gertraud Stadler (link: and Friederike Kendel (link:

Cooperation partners:

Teach First Germany (Ulf Matysiak)

Mind Prevention“ (Ahmad Mansour)

Alle Achtung! Achtung für alle - A school curriculum for an unbiased and appreciative school climate

Schools are a place where children and adolescents with different social identities come together. They may, for example, vary in their social and cultural origin, religion, appearance, physical and mental abilities, gender, or sexual orientation. While the resulting diversity in schools finds more and more societal acknowledgement, the way students interact with each other still reflects certain social norms, leading to prejudice and discriminatory behavior towards single groups of people. For instance, racist, sexist, homophobic or body related insults are a daily occurrence in students’ everyday school life. The experience of such group-based victimization can have enormous negative impact on school performance (e.g., worse grades, higher truancy).
The project „Alle Achtung! Achtung für alle!” aims to conduct a school curriculum that helps to induce an appreciative and bias-free school climate where students can freely develop their identity without fear of being discriminated against.

To this end, we want to get into conversation with school social workers, as well as students themselves, to create a curriculum based on their specific needs. In the further course of the project, the curriculum will be implemented and evaluated in schools to investigate whether it can lead to sustainable changes in school climate.

Project duration: 01.01.2021-31.03.2023

Funding: University of Tübingen

PI: Prof. Caterina Gawrilow (University of Tübingen)  link: 

Prof. Gertraud (Turu) Stadler

Research assistants: Tomasz Moschko