Organising Public Health

The focus of research is the health care system and its stakeholders (citizens and professionals) as well as organisations. Health is practised and understood at individual level, in relations between people, in public, voluntary and private organisations as well as at society level. This unit works with exploring, describing and analysing how professionals, volunteers and citizens manage health and public health issues in the health care system. The unit is engaged in investigating change processes in the health care system in relation to current political agendas and specific programmes within health in general. The unit focuses on users, health professions, organisations, cross-sectorial collaborations and health technologies.

The projects of the research unit build on close national and international collaborations; including the research units of ‘Health Promotion and Population Health’ (Ulrika Enemark, Helle Terkildsen Maindal) and ‘Nursing and Health Care’ (Kirsten Beedholm, Julie Duval Jensen, Bente Martinsen, Annelise Norlyk).  


Conditions for interprofessional coordination (Andreas Nielsen Hald; supervisors: Viola Burau, Ulrika Enemark)

The aim of the PhD project is two-fold. Empirically, to analyse the relations between different types of conditions for interprofessional collaboration, how these influence outcome, and how professions mediate this effect. Theoretically, to develop an analytical framework, which can capture the relations and effects between different types of conditions.

The practice of digital documentation in the municipal health system (Julie Duval Jensen; supervisors: Kirsten Beedholm, Loni Ledderer)

The aim of the PhD project is to analyse the practice of digital documentation of health professionals working in municipalities. This includes exploring how digital documentation influences the coordination of care pathways and how digital documentation changes health professions.

Coordination of life-long health promotion (Michael Fehsenfeld; in collaboration with Viola Burau and Helle Terkildsen Maindal)

This postdoc project analyses the importance of intersectoral coordination and organisational contexts for health promotion programmes for women who have had gestational diabetes (GDM). Based on a multiple case study of the FACE-IT and VEST-GDM programmes, the aim is to gather new knowledge to strengthen lifelong health promotion.

Mistrust of scientific expertise (Loni Ledderer)

This research project investigates the articulation of mistrust of scientific expertise in public debates, related to vaccinations, climate change, and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim is to provide a greater understanding of the nature of this mistrust and to identify ways to address this mistrust in the context of public health.

mHealth in Denmark – findings from the web archive (Loni Ledderer)

The integration of digital technologies in the healthcare sector is increasing rapidly, and this has far-reaching implications for citizens, health professionals and institutional practices. The aim of the research project is to develop mHealth, both as a concept and as practice, based on an analysis of Danish web pages over the past decade.

New Public Governance and its contexts (Viola Burau)

The aim of this collaborative research project is to test the nature and reach of ‘New Public Governance’ (NPG) based on a comparison of recent changes in health governance in Denmark and New Zealand. The analysis is based on a secondary analysis of theoretically selected studies and expert interviews.

Scientific milestones

August 2020

Andreas Nielsen Hald and Michael Fehsenfeld are appointed as PhD student and Postdoc Researcher, respectively.

May 2020

Prospective PhD student Andreas Nielsen Hald receives a grant from Helsefonden. 

February 2020

Julie Duval Jensen is appointed as PhD student (main supervisor: Kirsten Beedholm).

Research stay of Professor Nassera Touati, National School for Public Administration, Montréal, Canada.

June 2019

Viola Burau receives a travel grant from the Independent Research Foundation Denmark for her research stay at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

April-June 2019

Research stay of Dr Ellen Kuhlmann, Medical School Hannover, Germany.

October-November 2018

Research stay of Anders Bach Mortensen, PhD student at University of Oxford.


The unit is characterised by using humanistic and social science theories and methods to study how public health is practiced in the current context, as well as unfolding both the critical and the practical potential of qualitative approaches.