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Mental Health

ental health is an important prerequisite for a good quality of life, high level of functioning and social interaction.

Mental health issues are common and range from minor limitations of psychological wellbeing to serious mental disorders. They are associated with considerable consequences for the individual and society and have an effect on physical health and health-related behaviour. Due to their prevalence in the population, depression, anxiety disorders, addiction and dementia, in particular, have high public health relevance.

Mental health is affected by a large number of risk factors (e.g. work-related stress, major life events, personality factors, social status, lifestyle), but also protective factors (e.g. social support, resilience, healthy way of life). Numerous approaches can be derived from these factors for the prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of good mental health in the population.

Activities at Robert Koch Institute

In the framework of health monitoring in children and adults, the Robert Koch Institute regularly collects data on mental health, psychological issues, psychological disorders, risk factors and protective factors.

In addition to the frequency and distribution of mental health issues in the population, epidemiological studies also investigate the impact of risk factors and protective factors, as well as the relationship between mental and physical health.

The research activities in this area deal with a variety of relevant mental health aspects throughout a person’s lifetime, from childhood to late adulthood.

Research Projects


Characteristics of participants in a randomized trial of an Internet intervention for depression (EVIDENT) in comparison to a national sample (DEGS1)

Späth C, Hapke U, Maske U, Schröder J, Moritz S, Berger T, Meyer B, Rose M, Nolte S, Klein JP (2017) Internet Interventions 9 : 46–50 DOI 10.1016/j.invent.2017.05.003

Environmental noise annoyance and mental health in adults: findings from the cross-sectional German health update (GEDA) study 2012

Hammersen F, Niemann H, Hoebel J (2016) Int J Environ Res Public Health 13(10): 954 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph13100954

Current major depressive syndrome measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI): results from a cross-sectional population-based study of adults in Germany

Maske UE, Busch MA, Jacobi F, Beesdo-Baum K, Seiffert I, Wittchen HU, Riedel-Heller S, Hapke U (2015) BMC Psychiatry 2015, 15:77 doi:10.1186/s12888-015-0463-4

Modelling trajectories of psychosomatic health complaints in children and adolescents: results from the BELLA cohort study (Abstract)

Barkmann C, Otto C, Schön G, Schulte-Markwort M, Schlack R, Ravens-Sieberer U, Klasen F, The BELLA study group (2014) Eur Child Adolesc Psychatry. Epub 2014 Dec 24 doi: 10.1007/s00787-014-0656-2

Prevalence and gender patterns of mental health problems in German youth with experience of violence: the KiGGS study

Schlack R, Petermann F (2013) BMC Public Health 2013,13:628 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-628

Health locus of control and health behaviour: Results from a nationally representative survey

Grotz M, Hapke U, Lampert T, Baumeister H (2011) Psychol Health Med 16(2):129-140 DOI: 10.1080/13548506.2010.521570

Stability of subtypes of natural recovery from alcohol dependence after two years

Bischof G, Rumpf HJ, Meyer C, Hapke U, John U (2007) Addiction 102(6):904-8 DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.01834.x

Post-traumatic stress disorder: the role of trauma, pre-existing psychiatric disorders, and gender (Abstract)

Hapke U, Schumann A, Rumpf HJ, John U, Meyer C (2006) Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 256(5): 299–306 · DOI 10.1007/s00406-006-0654-6

Stability of remission from alcohol dependence without formal help.

Rumpf HJ, Bischof G, Hapke U, Meyer C, John U (2006) Alcohol and Alcoholism 41 (3): 311-314. DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agl008