How Paolo fights his pimples

15 07 2008
A new website offers entertaining information on skin problems in young people — Audio plays, films, and online quiz
Many young people have problems with their skin. They often do not know where to get quick and effective help. The new website “In Touch with Health” offers adolescents an entertaining and informative learning and information platform that can be used as an ideal supplement to school and for extracurricular projects. The learning platform is now being tested in schools. It is also available for anyone interested.

“In Touch with Health” was developed in the EU project “paedimed” (educational competence in medicine; medical competence in teaching) and is a cooperation between the Department of  Clinical Social Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital, the Institute for Media and Educational Technology at the University of Augsburg, the Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine, and Health Theory at the University of Osnabrück, the Association of German Dermatologists (Bavaria section), the department of microbiology at the University of Oradea, Romania, and the study center GISED (Gruppo Italiano Studi Epidemiologici in Dermatologia) in Bergamo, Italy.  

Stories about acne, sun protection, dermatitis, and sexual transmitted diseases

The online units on acne, sun protection, dermatitis, and preventing sexual transmitted diseases are embedded in stories that can be read or listened to. Four teenagers, Natalya, Paolo, Max, and Thelma are the main characters. They have all had problems with pimples, sunburn, etc. – Natalya almost falls for an obscure treatment for pimples she finds on the Internet, Max learns about the unpleasant side of the sun. A short movie about HIV, an online quiz for “acne pros”, and virtual sunbathing are motivations for giving some thought to (skin) health. 

The website is also designed for use in the classroom and for extracurricular projects. Teachers, social workers, health educators, and other multipliers will find a wide range of health-related learning activities. Among them are additional materials such as pictures and texts and method suggestions.

Role-playing, Internet driving license, and directions for designing a campaign

“We implement what is known as ‘blended learning’ for ‘In Touch with Health’ “, states Erika Deimling, research associate at the Department of Clinical Social Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital. Blended Learning unites conventional teaching methods and new, web-based teaching and learning scenarios. The spectrum of (teaching) activities ranges from short lessons without any media to very sophisticated, longer projects using various media. There are worksheets to determine skin type and classroom experiments on skin protection and the correct use of sunscreen as well as a role-playing on the subject “beauty and tanning”, an Internet driving license on acne, or an own multimedia campaign on how to protect against sexually transmitted diseases. 

Press contact:
Department of Clinical Social medicine
Heidelberg University Hospital
Thibautstr. 3
D-69115 Heidelberg
Erika Deimling, M.A.
Tel.: +49 (0) 6221-568755
Fax: +49 (0) 6221-565584
Heidelberg University Hospital

Project partners:

Heidelberg University Hospital, Department of Clinical Social Medicine
The department is a team of dermatologists, allergologists, social medicine practitioners, and epidemiologists. It deals mainly with occupational skin diseases, the allergic symptoms and skin diseases that may be associated with occupational and environmental factors. The department’s projects range from statistics, dermatology/allergology, epidemiology, and prevention, as well as the Internet and research of the health care system. The department coordinates the “paedimed” project and is responsible for preparing the medical contents and methods. It is also involved in the evaluation of the learning environment.

University of Osnabrück, Institute for Media and Educational Technology, Media Teaching division
The institute’s research projects focus on the areas of know-how management and e-learning / blended learning. The empirical studies and development studies are relevant to schools and universities as well as further education in non-profit organizations and industry alike. For the paedimed projects, the institute is in charge of didactic design and development of the online learning platform and is involved in evaluating the project.

University of Osnabrück; Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine, Health Theory
One of the core research areas at the Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine, and Health Theory at the University of Osnabrück is the prevention of occupational diseases under the aspect of promoting general health. The department designs, implements, and evaluates patient and multiplier training and is active in teacher education. In paedimed, this partner is in charge of health educational consultancy in the areas of development and evaluation.

Association of German Dermatologists (Bavaria section)
The Association of German Dermatologists represents the economic and social-policy interests of German dermatologists and in this capacity it organizes training and continuing education events for its members. In the paedimed project, the Bavaria section of the Association of German Dermatologists helps design the learning platform and is responsible for the implementation at selected schools in Germany.

Gruppo Italiano Studi Epidemiologici in Dermatologia (GISED), Bergamo, Italy
GISED is an association of clinical dermatologists, epidemiologists, and pharmacists involved in dermatological research. In the paedimed project, GISED is responsible for carrying out the project in Italy. This involves mainly adapting the program for Italy and conducting the pilot implementation.

Universitatea din Oradea; Catedrele facultatii Microbiologie Histologie, Oradea, Romania
In paedimed, this partner is responsible for the contents related to sexually transmitted diseases and carrying out the project (adaptation for Romania, conducting the pilot implementation) in Romania.

Technical implementation of the learning platform: Ghostthinker GmbH in Wolfratshausen, Germany is responsible for the technical implementation of the learning platform.

For journalists’ inquiries:
Dr. Annette Tuffs
Press and Public Relations at Heidelberg University Hospital
and the Department of Medicine at the University of Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 672
69120 Heidelberg
Tel:      06221 / 56 45 36
Fax:    06221 / 56 45 44

Editor: Email