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Organizations’ communication about digital media for chronic disease self-management

Project within the DFG Research Unit "Digital media in chronic disease self-management” (DISELMA)

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Duration: 2023-2027


Chronic diseases are among the most common health problems in industrial societies. The self-management of these diseases is increasingly supported by digital media, such as mHealth apps. The Research Unit of the German Research Foundation (DFG) "Digital media in chronic disease self-management” (DISELMA) is looking for new approaches to comprehensively address the role of digital media in the self-management of chronic diseases through multi-level research that brings together individual and societal levels.

The project "Organizations’ communication about digital media for chronic disease self-management" is one of six subprojects of the research unit. It focuses on the provider and stakeholder side of health apps, which has been little researched to date. Based on organizational theory and neo-institutionalist concepts, the project will contribute to research on health communication, by adding empirical insights into organization-specific findings.

The focus is on the analysis and comparison of communication strategies of different actors (including pharmaceutical companies, technology start-ups, health insurance companies, public agencies, and associations. The project comprises three sub-studies: (1) an organizational analysis, (2) semi-standardized interviews of communication managers, and (3) a content and framing analysis of apps for chronic disease self-management and related information and promotional materials.


Further subprojects of the research unit DISELMA are led by Prof. Dr. Constanze Rossmann (LMU Munich, spokesperson), Prof. Dr. Veronika Karnowski (TU Chemnitz), PD Dr. Claudia Riesmeyer (LMU Munich), Prof. Dr. Doreen Reifegerste (University of Bielefeld), and Prof. Dr. Julia Metag (WWU Münster).