Oliver Gruebner

Oliver Gruebner
University of Zurich | UZH · Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Prevention Institute (EBPI)

Dr. sc. nat.

About

87
Publications
24,679
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,590
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in the complex relationships between socio-ecological factors and health at distinct scales. Using the methodologies from epidemiology and geography, I am trying to understand how these factors shape population health especially in urban contexts.
Additional affiliations
June 2017 - present
University of Zurich
Position
  • PostDoc Position
February 2017 - present
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2016 - January 2017
Robert Koch Institut
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Studied urban mental health
Education
April 2007 - September 2011
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Field of study
  • Health Geography / Spatial Epidemiology
September 1999 - July 2006
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Field of study
  • Geography

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Full-text available
Social media platforms allow users worldwide to create and share information, forging vast sensing networks that allow information on certain topics to be collected, stored, mined, and analyzed in a rapid manner. During the COVID-19 pandemic, extensive social media mining efforts have been undertaken to tackle COVID-19 challenges from various persp...
Preprint
Digital data play an increasingly important role in advancing medical research and care. However, most digital data in healthcare are in an unstructured and often not readily accessible format for research. Specifically, unstructured data are available in a non-standardized format and require substantial preprocessing and feature extraction to tran...
Article
Full-text available
The present commentary discusses how social media big data could be used in mental health research to assess the impact of major global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We first provide a brief overview of the COVID-19 situation and the challenges associated with the assessment of its global impact on mental health using conventional methods....
Article
Full-text available
Background Unwarranted variation in healthcare utilization can only partly be explained by variation in the health care needs of the population, yet it is frequently found globally. This is the first cross-sectional study that systematically assessed geographic variation in the adherence to clinical recommendations in Switzerland. Specifically, we...
Article
Full-text available
Social media platforms are increasingly used across many population groups not only to communicate and consume information, but also to express symptoms of psychological distress and suicidal thoughts. The detection of suicidal ideation (SI) can contribute to suicide prevention. Twitter data suggesting SI have been associated with negative emotions...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial approaches to epidemiological research with big social media data provide tremendous opportunities to study the relationship between the socio-ecological context where these data are generated and health indicators of interest. Such research poses a number of ethical challenges, particularly in relation to issues such as privacy, informed c...
Article
Digital data play an increasingly important role in advancing medical research and care. However, most digital data in healthcare are in an unstructured and often not readily accessible format for research. Specifically, unstructured data are available in a non-standardized format and require substantial preprocessing and feature extraction to tran...
Presentation
Background: The #MeToo movement highlighted the experiences of sexual violence survivors. Some research suggests that #MeToo prompted social change. The impact may be due to the emotional tone of the tweets. However, researchers have not examined specific emotions, or their associated content. Objectives: We examined the first month of the MeToo m...
Article
Full-text available
Objective We examined real-world effects of cantonal legislations to direct surgery patients from the inpatient to the outpatient setting in Switzerland. Methods Analyses were based on claims data of the Helsana Group, a leading Swiss health insurance. The study population consisted of 13’145 (in 2014), 12’455 (in 2016), and 12’875 (in 2018) insur...
Article
Full-text available
Natural disasters can have significant consequences for population mental health. Using a digital spatial epidemiologic approach, this study documents emotional changes over space and time in the context of a large-scale disaster. Our aims were to a) explore the spatial distribution of negative emotional expressions of Twitter users before, during,...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the associations between dietary patterns and chronic disease mortality in Switzerland using an ecological design and explored their spatial dependence, i.e. the tendency of near locations to present more similar and distant locations to present more different values than randomly expected. Data of the National Nutrition Survey menu...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives When research evidence is lacking, patient and provider preferences, expected to vary geographically, might have a stronger role in clinical decisions. We investigated whether the strength or the direction of recommendation is associated with the degree of geographic variation in utilisation. Design In this cross-sectional study, we sel...
Article
Full-text available
The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China in late December 2019 became the harbinger of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, geospatial techniques, such as modeling and mapping, have helped in disease pattern detection. Here we provide a synthesis of the techniques and associated findings in relation to COVID-19 and its geographic, environm...
Article
Public health interventions implemented during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are based on experience gained from past pandemics. The 1918 influenza pandemic is the most extensively researched historical influenza outbreak. All 9335 reports available in the State Archives on 121 152 cases of influenza-like illness from the canton...
Article
Full-text available
Background: We examined colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer screening utilization in eligible populations within three data cross-sections, and identified factors potentially modifying cancer screening utilization in Swiss adults. Methods: The study is based on health insurance claims data of the Helsana Group. The Helsana Group is one of th...
Chapter
Addressing mental health problems in urban populations represent an important challenge for the theoretical and clinical approach to treatment. This chapter presents a general framework for better understanding mental health in urban environments. We highlight the emerging evidence for the relations between risks and protective factors and urban me...
Article
Full-text available
Background Using the example of secondary prophylaxis of myocardial infarction (MI), our aim was to establish a framework for assessing cost consequences of compliance with clinical guidelines; thereby taking cost trajectories and cost distributions into account. Methods Swiss mandatory health insurance claims from 1840 persons with hospitalizatio...
Article
Full-text available
Background Regional variation in healthcare utilization could reflect unequal access to care, which may lead to detrimental consequences to quality of care and costs. The aims of this study were to a) describe the degree of regional variation in utilization of 24 diverse healthcare services in eligible populations in Switzerland, and b) identify po...
Article
Full-text available
Background Observational studies of influenza vaccination are criticized as flawed due to unmeasured confounding. The goal of this cohort study was to explore the value and role of secondary claims data to inform the effectiveness of influenza vaccination, while systematically trying to reduce potential bias. Methods We iteratively reviewed the co...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in utilization of healthcare services is influenced by patient, provider and healthcare system characteristics. It could also be related to the evidence supporting their use, as reflected in the availability and strength of recommendations in clinical guidelines. In this study, we analyzed the geographic variation of colorectal, breast an...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Four strongly recommended diabetes management measures are biannual glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing, annual eye examination, kidney function examination, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) testing in patients below 75 years. We aimed to describe regional variation in the utilization of the four measures across small regions in Switz...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Globally, individuals living with mental disorders are more likely to have access to a mobile phone than mental health care. In this commentary, we highlight opportunities for expanding access to and use of digital technologies to advance research and intervention in mental health, with emphasis on the potential impact in lower resource set...
Chapter
Full-text available
The features of the urban built environment influence the daily activities and health behaviors of people living in cities. Thus, it is possible to design cities in ways that can reduce poor health and support the well-being of urban residents. Urban design is the framework that gives form and shape to the components of the urban physical environme...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Indicators of guideline adherence are frequently used to examine the appropriateness of healthcare services. Only some potential indicators are actually usable for research with routine administrative claims data, potentially leading to a biased selection of research questions. This study aimed at developing a systematic approach to extr...
Chapter
Full-text available
Social Media Daten im Spannungsfeld der digitalen und raumbezogenen Epidemiologie, Verfahren zur automatisierten Extraktion von Nutzerinformationen, Potenzial der digitalen Epidemiologie für die Versorgungsforschung, Potenzial der digital räumlichen Epidemiologie für die Versorgungsforschung, Potenzial digitaler Informationen für die Gesundheitserh...
Article
Full-text available
Clinical recommendations discourage routine use of preoperative chest radiography (POCR). However, there remains much uncertainty about its utilization, especially variation across small areas. We aimed to assess the variation of POCR use across small regions, and to explore its influencing factors. Patients undergoing inpatient surgery during 2013...
Article
Full-text available
Disasters have substantial consequences for population mental health. We used Twitter to (1) extract negative emotions indicating discomfort in New York City (NYC) before, during, and after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. We further aimed to (2) identify whether pre-or peri-disaster discomfort were associated with peri-or post-disaster discomfort, respec...
Article
Full-text available
Disasters have substantial consequences for population mental health. We used Twitter to (1) extract negative emotions indicating discomfort in New York City (NYC) before, during, and after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. We further aimed to (2) identify whether pre- or peri-disaster discomfort were associated with peri- or post-disaster discomfort, resp...
Article
Full-text available
Precision public health approaches are crucial for targeting health policies to regions most affected by disease. We present the first sub-national and spatially explicit burden of disease study in Africa. We used a cross-sectional study design and assessed data from the Kenya population and housing census of 2009 for calculatingYLLs (years of life...
Article
Full-text available
Precision public health approaches are crucial for targeting health policies to regions most affected by disease. We present the first sub-national and spatially explicit burden of disease study in Africa. We used a cross-sectional study design and assessed data from the Kenya population and housing census of 2009 for calculating YLLs (years of lif...
Conference Paper
Background: Preoperative chest radiography is discouraged by most clinical recommendations. We have previously shown that there is substantial variation in the implementation of these recommendations in Switzerland, but do not know much about the regions where overuse is most prevalent. Furthermore, knowledge about locational risk factors is lackin...
Article
Objective This study aimed to examine factors associated with receipt of post-disaster support from network (eg, family or friends) and non-network (eg, government agencies) sources. Methods Participants (n=409) were from a population-based sample of Hurricane Sandy survivors surveyed 25-28 months post-disaster. Survivors were asked to imagine a f...
Article
Reducing child mortality is a Sustainable Development Goal yet to be achieved by many low-income countries. We applied a subnational and spatial approach based on publicly available datasets and identified permanent insolvency, urbanicity, and malaria endemicity as factors associated with child mortality. We further detected spatial clusters in the...
Article
Full-text available
-Background- Disasters have substantial consequences for population mental health. Social media data present an opportunity for mental health surveillance after disasters to help identify areas of mental health needs. We aimed to 1) identify specific basic emotions from Twitter for the greater New York City area during Hurricane Sandy, which made l...
Article
Full-text available
The countdown method is a well-known approach to reducing the average length of screening instruments that are presented by computer. In the countdown method, testing is terminated once the result of the screener ("positive" or "negative") has been unambiguously determined from prior answers. Previous research has examined whether presenting dichot...
Article
Full-text available
Background: More than half of the global population currently lives in cities, with an increasing trend for further urbanization. Living in cities is associated with increased population density, traffic noise and pollution, but also with better access to health care and other commodities. Methods: This review is based on a selective literature sea...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To investigate the potential of customized computer-based testing procedures to reduce the mean test length of the Posttraumatic Stress Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). Method: A retrospective analysis was conducted using responses from 942 adults who had completed the full-length (20-item) PCL-5 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The a...
Article
Full-text available
Persons living in communities with limited resources are at heightened risk of posttraumatic stress (PTS) after disasters, especially if they were highly exposed. The support deterrence desistence model and the conservation of resources theory suggest that this risk might increase in the longer-term aftermath of disasters. In the present study, we...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated geographic concentration in elevated risk for a range of postdisaster trajectories of chronic posttraumatic stress symptom (PTSS) and depression symptoms in a longitudinal study (N = 561) of a Hurricane Ike affected population in Galveston and Chambers counties, TX. Using an unadjusted spatial scan statistic, we detected clusters of...
Conference Paper
Disasters have substantial consequences for population mental health. Social media data are increasingly being used to assist disaster response and techniques exist to determine geographic and temporal locations at risk. However, no study has adopted space-time surveillance to help identify areas of mental health needs. We conducted a proof of conc...
Article
The terror events in Paris in November, 2015, and elsewhere remind us of the substantial consequences that violent events can have for a population's mental health. Although effective approaches exist for treating these consequences, no systematic attempts have been made to identify populations at risk early on to expeditiously mitigate them. Socia...
Article
Objective: We aimed to explore how individually experienced disaster-related stressors and collectively experienced community-level damage influenced perceived need for mental health services in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Methods: In a cross-sectional study we analyzed 418 adults who lived in the most affected areas of New York City at th...
Conference Paper
Mass traumatic events, such as terrorist attacks and natural disasters, have increased globally in recent years and can have substantial consequences for population mental health. Early emotional reactions after traumatic events are predictive of later psychiatric symptoms. Targeting geographic areas wherein citizens are exhibiting early emotional...
Article
Objectives: To demonstrate a spatial epidemiologic approach that could be used in the aftermath of disasters to (1) detect spatial clusters and (2) explore geographic heterogeneity in predictors for mental health and general wellness. Methods: We used a cohort study of Hurricane Ike survivors (n=508) to assess the spatial distribution of postdis...
Article
Full-text available
The majority of disaster survivors suffering from psychiatric disorders do not utilize mental health services. Only one study to date has explored postdisaster service use after Hurricane Sandy, and the disaster literature is further limited by a lack of attention to survivors' perceived need for services. We drew on data from a population-based sa...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Substantial progress has been made in reducing childhood mortality worldwide from 1990-2015 (Millennium Development Goal, target 4). Achieving target goals on this however remains a challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya's infant mortality rates are higher than the global average and are more pronounced in urban areas as compared to ru...
Chapter
The majority of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. Mental health problems are known to be prevalent in the rapidly urbanizing megacities of low-income countries and range at the third place in the list of the ten leading factors of the burden of disease in low-income countries in a projection for 2030. Urbanization is most pronounced...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The majority of survivors of natural disasters exhibit resilience, defined as low levels of a given symptom or problem over time, with only minimal elevations in symptoms limited to the time period during the disaster and its immediate aftermath. However, recent evidence suggests that mental health wellness (resilience across multiple mental health...
Article
Full-text available
Several individual-level factors are known to promote psychological resilience in the after- math of disasters. Far less is known about the role of community-level factors in shaping postdisaster mental health. The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of both individual- and community-level factors on resilience after Hurricane Sandy....
Article
Full-text available
Only very few studies have investigated the geographic distribution of psychological resilience and associated mental health outcomes after natural or man made disasters. Such information is crucial for location-based interventions that aim to promote recovery in the aftermath of disasters. The purpose of this study therefore was to investigate geo...
Chapter
Full-text available
Dieses Lexikon ist ein interdisziplinäres Nachschlagewerk mit fast 2.000 Stichworten aus den Bereichen Methodologie, qualitative und quantitative Methoden sowie Statistik. Forschungspraktische Themen werden ebenso behandelt wie die Grundlagen der empirischen Sozialforschung. Die Methoden in den Einzeldisziplinen werden in Langartikeln systematisch...
Article
Full-text available
Spatio-temporal patterns of dengue risk in Malaysia were studied both at the address and the sub-district level in the province of Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. We geocoded laboratory-confirmed dengue cases from the years 2008 to 2010 at the address level and further aggregated the cases in proportion to the population at risk...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To report geographical variations of sex-specific diabetes by place of residence (large cities/city corporations, small towns/other urban areas, rural areas) and region of residence (divided into seven divisions) among general adults (35+ years of age) in Bangladesh. Methods The recent cross-sectional data, extracted from the nationally...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid urban growth in low and middle income countries is frequently characterized by informal developments. The resulting social segregation and slums show disparities in health outcomes for the populations of the world’s megacities. To address these challenges, information on the spatial distribution of slums is necessary, yet the data are rarely...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Rapid urban growth in low and middle income countries is frequently characterized by informal developments. The resulting social segregation and slums show disparities in health outcomes for the populations of the world’s megacities. To address these challenges, information on the spatial distribution of slums is necessary, yet the data...