What does a crisis cost?

November 27, 2020

The pilot project aims to examine the costs and benefits of avoided crises - so-called "non-events" - in the domain of consumer health protection from an economic and psychological point of view, and will begin in January 2021. The project will also analyse whether and how cost-benefit considerations can be used in communication with different participants in risk communication and reputation management. For this reason, BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel and HSU President Professor Dr. Klaus Beckmann signed a cooperation agreement yesterday.

"Risk communication is defined as a continuous and interactive process and characterised by a participatory dialogue with different target groups," says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "It can help every person and every interest group to make informed and independent decisions. Our interdisciplinary research group aims to make contributions to the scientific basis of this decision-making problem and, therefore, also increase economic efficiency and transparency," states Hensel, explaining the idea behind the joint project. The research project will primarily deal with the interaction between risk assessment and risk communication in consumer health protection. So-called "non-events" present a particular challenge: these are crisis events that have been avoided and that, due to successful prevention and treatment measures, do not present themselves as such to the individual. Sometimes, preventing a crisis then leads to society questioning the risk and the measures taken - this is also known as a "prevention paradox". The new research group will now analyse the social significance of these non-events in consumer health protection from an economic and psychological point of view and explore the use of cost-benefit considerations to improve risk communication.

HSU President Professor Dr. Klaus Beckmann welcomes the cooperation between the two institutions: "Our first collaboration in socio-scientific research gives our two departments a massive boost in the domain of risk research and once again illustrates the direct application benefit that interdisciplinary explanatory models can have for our society; in this case, the consumer interested in health."

To answer the multifaceted question of how to assess avoided crises, the BfR and HSU rely on a broad range of expertise: the HSU notably contributes with its economic and psychological competence and the use of its experimental psychological laboratory. The interdisciplinary team at BfR with expertise in psychology and communication science has many years of research experience in the fields of risk communication and crisis prevention.
About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states ("Laender") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

About Helmut Schmidt University

Helmut Schmidt University is a university of the German Federal Armed Forces and a scientific partner of the Federal Government. Like its founder and namesake, it sees science as "a search for knowledge committed to social responsibility". The university places itself in an international research landscape through competitive basic and applied research. Its structure and rights are organised in accordance with the provisions of Hamburg state law. Research and teaching are unrestricted, and the university manages its own academic affairs.

Media contact:

Press office at Helmut Schmidt University, Florian Köfler
Holstenhofweg 85, 22043 Hamburg
Tel. 040 6541-3301
Email: pressestelle@hsu-hh.de

Press office at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Dr. Suzan Fiack
Risk Communication Department
Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10, 10589 Berlin
Tel.: +49-(0)30-18412-88000, -88001, -88002, -88003
Email: pressestelle@bfr.bund.de

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.

BfR Federal Institute for Risk Assessment

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.