Scientific Research Institutes > University Institutes > Nursing Science and Practice

Institute for Nursing Science and Practice

Director: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Osterbrink

Since the autumn of 2007, along with the study in human medicine, also a study in nursing science is offered. This is mainly in reaction to social, demographic and medical developments in order to shape the future of the nursing care based on the needs.

The Institute for Nursing Science and Practice has set as a goal to educate its graduates, on the basis of the processes of social and structural change in the healthcare, as competent nursing care specialists. The interrelation between research and teaching, theory and practice, creates a scientific base for guaranteeing the modern patient care and satisfying the requirements of the Austrian Healthcare and Nursing Care Act, as well as orienting the nursing care practice towards the current scientific knowledge. The teaching and research are characterised by a strong interconnection between theory and practice, which is supported by the embedding of the university in the Salzburg province hospital. Another goal is the strengthening of the inter-professionalism.



The nursing care scientific research is concentrated on the care research area. Here, the theory-practice transfer (in both directions) is in the centre. The objective is to use the research for the good of all participants in the healthcare system, in particular for the patients and the clients – but also to make sure that the new knowledge finds its way to the practice.

The care research can be divided in the following way:

  • Preventive
  • Curative
  • Rehabilitating
  • Palliative

At the institute, an inter-disciplinary team is doing research in the following disciplines:

  • Nursing science
  • Sociology
  • Medicine
  • Psychology
  • Economic science

Overview of the studies:


Within the framework of the Alfit study (2009 – 2011), a progressive strength training program for improving the strength, endurance and balance with sport-therapeutic devices in geriatric patients in an outpatient day clinic in Salzburg was tested regarding its effectiveness. In addition, the focus was also on the motivation, training experience as well as the effects on the everyday life of the training patients. Positive effects could be identified. The training program was used in nursing homes for the elderly.

Study design: Pilot study, prospective RCT, qualitative interviews
Status: completed

ABSM - Action Group Pain-free City of Münster

The care research project " Action Group Pain-free City of Münster" (2010-2014) was the first worldwide to the pain situation and the inter-professional pain management within an entire city municipality healthcare system. In the areas retirement home, hospital, outpatient care service, pain practice and hospice in the city of Münster, a total of more than 4,000 inhabitants, patients, guests, (family) physicians and caregivers were interviewed. The pain situation as well as the knowledge and care gaps were analysed, institution-specific interventions were performed, the well-functioning structures were strengthened and optimisations were implemented. The showcase project will make possible in the future a networked pain monitoring and treatment system across institutions and sector boundaries – a goal which currently finds special recognition by the World Health Organisation WHO as "Best Practice Model".

Study designs: Multi-centric pre-post studies (ex-post-facto design), explorative qualitative designs, semi-structured interviews and group discussions
Status: completed

OSiA - Optimised pain management in nursing homes for the elderly

The OSiA study (2011 – 2014) had the goal to optimise the pain management in nursing home for the elderly through targeted interventions and to integrate important elements of the scientific evidence of the optimal pain management in the nursing care. To this purpose, specific optimisation potentials were identified by means of analysis of the current situation, a systematic pain registration system was implemented and the nursing care personnel was qualified in the "Pain Nurse" training course. The optimisation of the pain management could be covered in a post-test of the study.

Study design: Non-experimental pre-post study with cluster sample
Status: completed


In the "painApp – Mobile Pain Monitoring" (2013 – 2015) project, the painApp software for mobile end devices (e.g. Tablet-PCs, smart phones) was developed from the background of improving the therapeutic pain relief care of elderly people and its practical application in the outpatient healthcare was tested. The user-oriented painApp developed in the project is an application program adapted to the needs of elderly people. Its central elements present the documentation of the occurrence of the pain by the affected person as well as the communication between the actors participating in the treatment of the pain (family physicians, outpatient nursing care services, patients). It was possible to show within the framework of the evaluation that by the use of the painApp the communication was improved and the actors participating in the care were further connected in a network.

Study design: Development and formative evaluation status: completed
Status: completed

"InTherAKT" – Initiative for the safety of the medicinal products in the care for the elderly by cooperation and teamwork

Within the framework of the InTherAKT project, the therapeutic safety of medicinal products in nursing homes for the elderly is going to be improved by optimisation of the inter-professional cooperation and communication between the professional groups participating in the healthcare and by establishing a structured documentation and reflecting the effect of the mediation on the residents of the nursing homes for the elderly.

Study design: Non-experimental pre-post study
Status: current

Corporate culture change: an 18-year, two-phase in-depth study of change in the health care sector

A majority of the current enthusiasm for the study of corporate culture in the health care sector is fuelled by research associating the idea of mobilising human resources with health care performance as well as by organisational studies suggesting that health care culture can be easily changed. However, much of the research producing these results are predominantly focused on management objectives or 'best policy and practices' with little critical evaluation of health care professionals’ labour processes and the impact that such processes may have on both the performance of health care organisations and the management of health care employees. By assessing the continuing programme of mobilising corporate culture in one German hospital, this organizational study seeks to analyse the rationale, method, building elements and impact of corporate culture change initiatives in the same health care institution spaced 18 years apart. About 18 years ago, a change protocol concerning a number of corporate management techniques was introduced involving a combination of shared values and employee participation. The analysis of how these values have changed over time as well as its impact on participation is anticipated to produce a number of conclusions and implications (i.e. organisational effectiveness and quality of working life) for both health care management researchers and practitioners who are interested in the socio-relational dynamics and lived experiences related to management control and inequality in larger health care organisations.

Study design: Ethnographics revisited
Status: current


The Institute for General, Family and Preventive Medicine conducts in cooperation with the Institute for Nursing Science and Practice a qualitative study on the subject Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The objective is to study the strong and weak points of the coordinated care of COPD patients in Salzburg. Based on the results of this PRE-study, an inter-disciplinary, structured and inter-sectoral COPD management must be developed (ISI COPD).

Team and contact

Institut für Pflegewissenschaft und -praxis
der Paracelsus Medizinischen Privatuniversität
Strubergasse 21
5020 Salzburg, Austria
Fax: +43 662 2420-80009