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PhD projects


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The experienced burden of disease in Denmark

Emily Johnson

The consequences of disease burden often extend beyond health outcomes and can affect a person’s economic, psychological, and social livelihood. This project seeks to measure the comprehensive lifetime quality of life loss caused by breast cancer, stroke, alcohol use disorder and severe depression in Denmark using registry data. In order to look across diseases and outcomes, the project will result in a comprehensive index of qualify of life loss which can be used for comparative evaluations.

Main supervisor: Angela Chang


Choice and competition in the Danish healthcare system

Rebecca Louise Jones

This project intends to answer the contested question: what is the impact of choice and competition reforms on the quality of public healthcare delivery? Regarding Denmark, little evidence currently exists regarding the effectiveness of choice and competition reforms. Elsewhere, the evidence is inconclusive and often limited by inappropriate quality measures, or inadequate measures of market competition when applied to a national health service. This project aims to address both these limitations. In addition, advanced data analytic methods are brought into economic research to map supply and demand side changes in the Danish healthcare ‘market’ in response to choice and competition reforms.

Main supervisor: Søren Rud Kristensen


Dental health: Understanding demand and supply side barriers to optimal care

Rie Fog-Nielsen

This PhD project involves data collection through citizen and dentist surveys, linking them with high-quality register data. The research aims to comprehend the heterogeneous impact of an exogenous shock, such as a financial crisis, on the demand for dental health care services in a co-payment-intensive country. Additionally, it seeks to enhance our understanding of how market and individual traits influence preferences for dental health care, both in consumption and supply.

Main Supervisor: Dorte Gyrd-Hansen


Health and working conditions of hospital employees

Louise Schubert Paaske

Working at a hospital involves high emotional demands and occasionally high workload and time pressure. Stressors, associated with greater risk of depressive symptoms and long-term sick leave. The primary objective of this PhD project is to provide scientific support for evidence-based decision-making, with the overarching aim of fostering a more sustainable workforce within the Danish hospital sector. An initiative that could benefit both hospital employees and patients as well as the society at large. The project seeks to achieve this objective by investigating the impact of hospital employment on mental and physical health, as well as its correlation with long-term sick leave. As well as to identify and assess whether various working conditions, particularly cumulative overtime levels, are linked to a decline in health and increased sick leave. Furthermore, the project endeavors to explore whether exposure to overtime and other work-related factors can serve as predictors for job turnover behavior.

Main Supervisor: Kim Rose Olsen


Diabetes, diabetes complications and personalized medicine

Sasja Maria Pedersen

This PhD project aims to investigate a more personalized approach to diabetes control and screening for diabetic retinopathy. This thesis will apply nationwide register data to assess the potential of using machine learning to assess the potential of avoiding futile HbA1c test for patients with diabetes. Furthermore, this project aims to set the optimal screening interval for diabetic retinopathy using an individualized approach for diabetes patients. 

Main Supervisor: Trine Kjær 


Quality of life in cancer patients receiving cancer directed drug therapies & healthcare utilization the last year of life in patients suffering from incurable cancer

Henriette Tind Hasse

The overall aim of the project is to investigate the quality of life in cancer patients receiving cancer directed drug therapy at end of life. Furthermore, we aim to investigate how healthcare is used during the last year of life in cancer patients and to identify differences in health care utilization according to factors such as type of cancer, provision of palliative care, gender and age.

Main Supervisor:  Søren Rud Kristensen


Back disorder and occupational workload

Amalie Wiben

This PhD project aims to investigate the relationships between occupational workload, back disorder and employment status. This thesis will apply nationwide longitudinal register data to assess the association between occupational skill requirements and risk of back disorder and how the risk of labor market abandonment for patients experiencing hospitalized back disorder is associated with occupational history.
Main Supervisor: Kim Rose Olsen


General practitioners' motivational profiles and treatment patterns

Dimitar Stoyanov Yordanov

This study is part of the PINCH project, which addresses the importance of incorporating research-based knowledge (RBK) into general practitioners’ (GPs) treatment patterns. The PINCH project explores how GPs’ personal characteristics, incentives, norms, and resource constraints affect their implementation of RBK. The aim of this PhD project is to estimate how GPs’ motivational profiles are associated with their treatment behaviour, which includes implementation of costly RBK. The PhD project contributes to the literature by using unique survey data on GPs’ self-assessed motivational profiles linked to detailed administrative data on their patients’ treatments and health statuses. The project exploits exogenous shocks to GPs’ working conditions such as the COVID-19 pandemic as well as reforms introduced by the GPs’ collective agreement in 2018.
Main Supervisor:Anne Sophie Oxholm


The health economics of artificial intelligence-supported continuous vital signs monitoring systems in hospitals

Arendse Tange Larsen


The project is a part of an ongoing research project (the WARD project) from Rigshospitalet, Bispebjerg Hospital and DTU, which involves developing a full-automatic system that provides prospective detection of adverse events in hospitalized patients by continuous, real-time vital signs monitoring by means of artificial intelligence. The PhD project will 1) examine existing literature on economic studies of similar systems, 2) study the economic burden of adverse events in patients eligible for monitoring by the system, and 3) assess the economic benefit of the WARD clinical support system specifically.

Main Supervisor: Søren Rud Kristensen


Completed PhD's

Defended: November 2023

Behavioural Economic Perspectives on Opioid Prescribing Patterns in General Practice

Maya Fey Niemann Hallett

Rising rates of opioid use, and its resulting negative consequences, have led health authorities to introduce guidelines on opioid prescribing to reduce opioid use for chronic non-cancer pain. Most continuous opioid prescriptions are made in general practice. Previous studies suggest that general practice characteristics are associated with different prescribing behaviors, but often these studies do not account for differences in patient characteristics. This PhD study investigates these patterns and suggests and tests a nudge experiment aimed at general practitioners prescribing pattern.

Main supervisor: Line Bjørnskov Pedersen


Defended: June 2023

Impact of time and risk preferences on diabetes-related behavior and outcomes in insulin pump users with Type 1 diabetes

Kristoffer Panduro Madsen


This PhD study investigates if heterogeneity and inconsistency across peoples’ time and risk preferences predicts diabetes-related behaviors and subsequent outcomes in insulin pump users with type 1 diabetes. If time and risk preferences are identified as independent drivers of adverse behavior leading to negative outcomes, it becomes imperative to circumvent the impact of these preferences in future treatment options through, for example, commitment devices. The study relies on survey data to elicit time and risk preferences, register data to acquire information on demographics and socioeconomics, and electronic patient journals to obtain data on diabetes-specific health status.

Main Supervisor:  Trine Kjær


Defended: December 2022

MomIT - An IT-based intervention to support postpartum women to a healthy lifestyle and weight control

Pernille Kjærgaard Christiansen

The objective of MomIT is to develop an IT-based intervention to support postpartum women to a healthy lifestyle and weight control. The project is inspired by a participatory design approach, where the users take part in the development, and theory on behavioural economics. Once the intervention is developed, a randomized controlled trial will be made at Odense University Hospital to test the effectiveness of the intervention.
Main supervisor: Eva Draborg


Defended: November 2021
Tracing causes of inequality in health and well-being
Maiken Skovrider Aaskoven

This PhD project aims to investigate individuals’ ability to manage and adapt to significant stress or trauma in the aftermath of adverse health events. An important focus is to analyse the extent to which heterogeneity in individuals’ resilience drives inequalities in health and well-being. Furthermore, the project aims to identify the underlying factors that may influence this ability by way of childhood circumstances, life course events, social environment, and socio-economic characteristics.
Main Supervisor: Dorte Gyrd-Hansen


Defended: June 2021
Preferences for universal health care coverage

Lise Desirée Andreasen

This project sets out to elicit public preferences for allocation of scarce health care resources in a public health care sector. Applying discrete choice experiments, the project tests preferences for giving priority to health gains for specific patient groups characterized by different levels of severity (end-of-life/quality-of-life), capacity to benefit and health behavior. Furthermore, the project tests whether preferences for individual health gains are different from preferences stated in a social decision maker position.  

Main Supervisor: Dorte Gyrd-Hansen



Defended: March 2021

The use of patient-specific preferences in QALY-based economic evaluations

Christine Halling

This project aims to provide the first valuation of EQ-5D health state classification, using preferences from a group of patients from intensive care units. This new patient-specific valuation will be used in a concrete economic evaluation of preventive interventions used in intensive care units.

Main Supervisor: Dorte Gyrd-Hansen

Defended: February 2021
Does inequity in access to secondary care impact quality of care?
Jamie O'Halloran
This PhD project aims to investigate whether several GP-related factors create inequality in patients’ access to secondary care – and how this inequality affects patients’ health. The project consists of three self-contained research papers each investigating a GP-related factor that may affect secondary care and patients’ health outcome. These factors are: the design of GPs’ remuneration scheme, GPs’ perception of a fair allocation of care, and GPs’ attitude towards risk.
Main Supervisor: Dorte Gyrd-Hansen


  This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020  research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 721402


Defended: December 2020
Low-powered incentives influence on quality of care
Ryan Pulleyblank
This project aims to evaluate the influence of low-powered incentives (i.e. incentives which are not strongly tied to financial remuneration) on the quality of health care delivered in Denmark. In particular, the improved availability of information that can potentially optimize clinicians’ treatment decisions will be investigated. Populations of interest include patients with diabetes and heart disease. Outcomes of interest include costs, hospitalizations /readmissions, and mortality.
Main Supervisor: Kim Rose Olsen


  This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020  research and innovation programme under  the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 721402


Defended: November, 2020

Preferences for income distributions when facing health risks: Individual and societal perspectives

Nicolai Fink Simonsen

The project seeks to disentangle individual and social preferences over health outcomes and wealth/consumption under uncertainty. Using a combination of longitudinal survey data, register data and incentivised experiment we will be able to identify individual risk preferences over the lifetime and disentangle whether inequality aversion is affected by the type of risk individuals are facing.
Main supervisor: Trine Kjær


Defended: November, 2020

The economics of emotional and behavioral difficulties in children and adolescents

Rasmus Trap Wolf

The PhD project comprise of studies that utilize register data to analyze the societal cost of mental health problems, validation of the use of a new  children and adolescent specific preference-based measure of  health-related quality of life in a mental health setting, and a cost-effectiveness analysis of a new transdiagnostic treatment for school-aged children who have emotional and/or behavioral problems.
Main Supervisor: Dorte Gyrd-Hansen


Defended:  August, 2018

Exploring time preferences and preventive behavior. The case of attendance to the gym

Eskild Klausen Fredslund

The study investigates possible insights about physical activity and exercise behavior that can be gained from analyzing members of a fitness center using theories from behavioral economics. For individuals in the developed world physical exercise is arguably one of the most effective ways to improve and sustain ones one health and one of the most popular ways to exercise in an organized form is via a membership of a fitness center. In Denmark alone more than 800.000 citizens are member of a fitness center. The thesis focus on time preferences and habit formation - to theories from behavioral economics that might explain why some individuals do not achieve and sustain an optimal exercise level.The thesis highlights the challenges that members of a fitness center may face in relation to achieving a sufficient and steady exercise frequency. This is relevant for the members of fitness center but just as relevant for policy makers concerned with introducing policies to support the public in a healthy lifestyle.

Main Supervisor: Dorte Gyrd-Hansen


Defended: May, 2018

Economic evaluation of non-pharmacological interventions for dementia: methodology and application of decision modelling

Liza Sopina

This project investigates the methodological aspects of decision modelling of non-pharmaceutical interventions for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Quality of life, survival and costs associated with dementia are explored, and findings are used to inform a new decision analytic model for economic evaluation of non-pharmaceutical interventions in dementia.

Main supervisor: Jan Sørensen

Last Updated 30.11.2023