Research in Practice

We stand for an evidence-based approach to addiction treatment. Thanks to our research projects and publications, we are able to constantly evaluate, further develop and expand our services, always aiming to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing as well as the general quality of life of people with addictive disorders.

Our independent, interdisciplinary and practice-oriented research focuses on reducing the harm of legal and illegal substances as well as any questions associated with internal medicine, infectiology (hepatitis, HIV) and psychiatry. In addition to our own projects, we take part in national and international joint research programmes.

Current projects

Swiss Hepatitis C Cohort Study (SCCS)

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The Swiss Hepatitis C Cohort Study (SCCS) is a systematic longitudinal study, collecting data on people in Switzerland who are infected with hepatitis C. The long-term objectives of the SCCS are:

  • to establish an infrastructure and evaluation network for the advancement of clinical and biomedical research on the natural progression of hepatitis C infections (HCV)
  • to optimise and standardise treatment of HCV-infected patients

The SCCS will deliver information on which factors influence the progression of HCV infections, in order to enable future treatment decisions and predictions of what the burden of HCV-related illnesses in the general population will be. It will also provide epidemiological data to complement the mandatory national monitoring system of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Project management

David Semela, Dr. med. (Chairman), Dr. med. (Chairman), Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hospital of the Canton of St.Gallen

Project management Arud

Philip Bruggmann, PD Dr. med., Head of General Internal Medicine

Commissioned by

Swiss Hepatitis)
Swiss Association for the Study of the Liver (SASL)

In collaboration with

Arud Centre for Addiction Medicine

Funded by

Swiss National Science Foundation and others

Duration
September 2000 – today

Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS)

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The Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) is a systematic longitudinal study to record HIV-infected people in Switzerland. It is a collaboration of the outpatient clinics for infectious diseases of all Swiss university hospitals and two big cantonal hospitals, all connected to laboratories, and a number of associated smaller hospitals and private doctors who treat HIV patients.

The SHCS sample is representative for the Swiss HIV epidemic. Its main objectives are to guarantee the best patient care, to reduce HIV transmissions and to conduct research projects on HIV treatment, pathogenesis, co-infections, immunology and virus-host interactions.

Project management

Huldrych Günthard, Prof. Dr. med. (President), Department of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, University Hospital Zurich

Project management Arud

Philip Bruggmann, PD Dr. med., Head of General Internal Medicine

Commissioned by
In collaboration with

Arud Centre for Addiction Medicine

Funded by

Swiss Science National Foundation

Duration
1988 – today

Arud Mortality Study

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This research project comprises a retrospective study of the cause of death and primary diseases in diseased individuals, who passed away between 1992 and 2013 whilst undergoing treatment at one of Arud’s Centres for Addiction Medicine.

The mortality rate for people with opioid dependence is significantly higher than in the general population. Substitution therapies can reduce premature mortality, it is, however, still substantially increased. Also, the cause of death in patients in substitution therapy differs markedly from the general population. Lifestyle-related pre-existing medical conditions are the most common cause, apart from overdoses/polydrug use and an increased prevalence of traumas. Especially in regard to these pre-existing conditions, a scientific evaluation of the cause of death can bring valuable insights to help optimising the treatment of addictions.

Project management

Philip Bruggmann, PD Dr. med., Head of General Internal Medicine
Simone Graf, Dr. sc. ETH, Scientific Project Manager
Luis Falcato, Lic. Phil., Head of Research

Commissioned by

Arud Centre for Addiction Medicine

Funded by

Own resources

Duration
March 2014 – March 2018

Hepatitis C Peer-to-Peer (Arud HCV P2P)

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The objectives of this project are to improve knowledge of hepatitis C prevention, testing practice and treatment adherence in people who actively use or formerly used opioid substances. These objectives are to be achieved through the establishment of three peer-to-peer instruments: prevention in places where they meet, personal support for people with chronic hepatitis C and advocacy services.

Recent literature reviews show that there are still considerable shortcomings when it comes to hepatitis C (HCV) care for people who take drugs. Substance users seem to be inadequately informed about HCV. They are not tested enough and only a small percentage of those with a chronic hepatitis C infection have started treatment. Preventive measures usually focus on people who inject drugs, and rarely address other substance users. Therefore, there is a need to develop an approach that includes and works for all kinds of substance users. Community-based methods and peer-to-peer work (P2P) in particular could provide a useful foundation to tackle these challenges.

The scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of the three peer-to-peer interventions is another objective of the project. The effects of the P2P instruments on knowledge of prevention, testing practice and treatment adherence will be assessed using qualitative and quantitative methods on different levels.

This is a pilot project in the area of peer work. If the outcome is successful, it could be applied to other areas than hepatitis C or opioid substances and cantonal or local care services could include it as best practice example. Unlike in other interventions with similar intentions, at Arud, HCV-affected peers are involved in the project from the planning stage all the way to its implementation and evaluation.

Project management

Philip Bruggmann, PD Dr. med., Head of General Internal Medicine
Martin Luck, MSc Social Management, Project Manager
Luis Falcato, Lic. Phil., Head of Research

Commissioned by

Arud Centre for Addiction Medicine

Funded by

Federal Office of Public Health, Gilead Switzerland, Abbvie, MSD, Fondation Sana, Hans und Gertrude Oetiker Stiftung

Duration
March 2017 – March 2019

COPD in people with opioid dependence in substitution therapy

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The COPD study is a diagnostic research project in a clinical cohort at Arud Centre of Addiction Medicine.

The prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in people with opioid dependence has rarely been the subject of research. Nor has the willingness of people in substitution therapy (OST) to undergo pharmacological or alternative treatment for COPD or to change their lifestyle to minimise risk exposure (stop smoking) been evaluated. Even though prevalence is probably increased, treatment rates among patients with COPD in substitution therapy are low.

The main objective of this study is to establish the prevalence of COPD, the distribution of the various levels of severity of COPD as well as the associated risk factors among a representative sample of opioid dependent persons in OST. Data will be collected on smoking habits, drug use and pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, a lung function test will be carried out under medical supervision. The results will be discussed with the doctor. If necessary and desired, treatment options can be discussed. They are, however, not part of this study. A total of 120 patients will be included in the sample.

In order to improve treatment options and prevention in this patient group and to reduce costs (fewer hospital stays because of exacerbations), a detailed evaluation of COPD prevalence in patients in OST is an important step. Because of the aging population of opioid dependent people in Switzerland, this has become an increasingly pressing matter.

Project management

Philip Bruggmann, PD Dr. med., Head of General Internal Medicine
Luis Falcato, Lic. Phil., Head of Reasearch

Commissioned by

Arud Centre for Addiction Medicine

Funded by
Duration
November 2016 – March 2018

INCAS

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INCAS (International Naturalistic Cohort study of ADHD and SUD) is a naturalistic observation over a period of nine months of treatment modalities and treatment results of ADHD therapies in addiction centre settings and the identification of predictors.

The study aims to describe various treatment services for patients with substance use disorders and concurrent attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, treatment and patient characteristics that help predict the success rates of these treatment services are to be determined.

In addition to demographic data, data on the treatment history of their substance use, ADHD and other mental disorders are collected, and current substance use patterns, ADHD symptoms and treatment characteristics recorded. Ten Swiss institutions take part in the study in which eight institutions across Europe and the United States are also participating.

Project management

Franz Moggi, Prof. Dr. (Board Member), Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychiatric University Hospital Berne

Project management Arud

Thilo Beck, Dr. med., Head of Psychiatry

Commissioned by

Internationally: International Collaboration on ADHD and substance abuse (ICASA)
Nationally: Franz Moggi, Dr. Prof., Universitätsklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie Bern

In collaboration with

Arud Centre for Addiction Medicine

Duration
September 2017 – May 2019

SAMMSU Cohort

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The project aims to create a network of specialist doctors and organisations working with people who use drugs, and to use this common platform to improve interdisciplinary health care for substance users, including preventive measures.

The SAMMSU cohort is an open cohort study, which aims to collect representative data of people in opioid substitution therapy in facilities that offer integrated physical health care in the German, French and Italian parts of Switzerland. The collection of longitudinal data is carried out on an annual basis: a number of sociodemographic and medical data are being collected initially and after every twelve months, such as information on drug use, risk behaviours, comorbidities, medications, vaccinations and lab results (e-CRF). A standard analysis includes regular description of the sample. For the analysis of a specific project, the full data set can be requested.

Project management

Dr Alberto Moriggia, (President), Epatocentro Ticino & Ingrado Centro per Le Dipendenze, Lugano

Project management Arud

Philip Bruggmann, PD Dr. med., Head of General Internal Medicine at Arud

Commissioned by

Swiss Association for the Medical Management in Substance Users (SAMMSU)

In collaboration with

Arud Centre for Addiction Medicine

Funded by
Duration
May 2011 – today

Downloads

Here you can download publications and articles by Arud employees. You can also download all issues of our publication series.

Articles & Publications

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January 2019 | Addiction | Opioide

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among opioid dependent patients in agonist treatment. A diagnostic study.

Grischott, T., et al.
September 2018 | Liver International | Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C elimination among people who inject drugs: Challenges and recommendations for action within a health systems framework.

Day, E., et al.

Publication Series Arud Research

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Nr. 15

Erfolgsfaktoren von Peer-Arbeit im Umfeld von Substanzgebrauch und Hepatitis C

Simone Graf, Luis Falcato, Philip Bruggmann
Nr. 14

Leberschädigungen und Substanzkonsum

Luis Falcato, Simone Graf, Philip Bruggmann
Nr. 13

Hepatitis-C-Versorgung in den Kontakt- und Anlaufstellen

Peter Menzi (Infodrog), Regine Hoffmann (K+A Zürich), Philip Bruggmann (Arud)