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Psychological Methodology


Projects financed by Third-Party-Funds

  • Sexual activity

    Factors associated with frequency of sexual activity

    • Project Number: LSC20-003
    • Project Lead: Juliane Burghardt, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division Clinical Psychology
    • Project Partner: Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division Psychological Methodology, Psychosomatic Center Waldviertel - Eggenburg Clinic, Psychosomatic Center Waldviertel - Eggenburg Clinic
    • Duration: 36 months starting from 01.01.2022
  • DiabPeerS

    Diabetes Peer Messaging: Improving glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus through peer support instant messaging: a randomized controlled trial (diabetes peer messaging)

    • Project Number: LSC18-021
    • Project Lead: Elisabeth Höld, FH St. Pölten / Institute of Health Sciences
    • Project Partner: Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division of Internal Medicine 1 (University Hospital St. Pölten), Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division Psychological Methodology
    • Duration: 36 months starting from 01.11.2020


    Diabetes mellitus is one of the four priority non-communicable diseases worldwide. Globally, 425 million adults suffered
    from diabetes mellitus (7.2-11.3%) in 2017 and the International Diabetes Federation estimates an increase of 48% of
    the prevalence until 2045. Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type of diabetes, is mainly seen in adults older
    than 40 years. Diabetes can lead to serious long-term complications as well as a lower quality of life, worse mental
    health and a reduced life expectancy. These health consequences produce significant health care costs. Due to the
    chronical character of diabetes, the disease requires continuous therapy, regular medical appointments and a good
    adherence of those suffering. Therefore, diabetes self-management education (DSME) plays a significant role to
    increase patient’s self-management capacity and improve diabetes therapy. Research indicates that these outcomes
    might be difficult to maintain and seem to decline soon after DSME ends. Consequently, effective strategies to preserve
    the positive effects of DSME are needed. Preliminary results show that peer support, which means support from a
    person who has experiential knowledge of a specific behaviour or stressor and similar characteristics as the target
    population, is associated with better outcomes in terms of HbA1c, cardiovascular disease risk factors or self-efficacy at
    lower cost compared to standard therapy. Although those results are promising, research on peer support in diabetes
    care is still in its infancy and the influence of various factors is unclear. Peer support instant messaging services (IMS)
    approaches have significant potential for diabetes management because support can be provided easily and prompt, is
    inexpensive and needs less effort to attend compared to standard therapy. Furthermore, almost half of the 40-69 year
    old age group, which is mostly affected by the onset of type 2 diabetes, use IMS.
    The major objective of the project is to analyse the impact of a peer supported IMS intervention in addition to a
    standard diabetes therapy on the glycaemic control of type 2 diabetic patients.
    A total of 198 participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus, older than 40 years, and insured by the Insurance Company for
    Railways and Mining will be included and randomly assigned to intervention or control group. Both groups will receive
    standard therapy, but the intervention group will use the peer support IMS tool, additionally. The duration of the
    intervention will last for seven months, followed by an follow-up of seven months. Biochemical, behavioural and
    psychosocial parameters will be measured before, in the middle, and after the intervention as well as after the

  • Wearables

    Experience sampling with wearables: An open-source solution

    • Project Number: P 31800-N38
    • Project Lead: Stefan Stieger, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division Psychological Methodology
    • Duration: 54 months starting from 01.03.2019


    We all know diaries. They are used to record, capture, and monitor our everyday experiences in our own words and are habitually kept on a daily basis. But diaries are also used in science in order to systematically assess life experiences, mostly in a structured form (closed questions) referring to a specific topic (e.g., well-being). Participants may not just answer questions at the end of the day, but also at any time during the day (so-called event- and time-based sampling). In the past, these scientific diaries were used in printed form. However, due to technical progress, nowadays diaries are also digital, and come in new forms and shapes such as Personal Digital Assistants (also known as PDAs) and smartphones. An even more recent development offers further potential as a technological platform for diary studies – wearables. Currently, wearables are predominantly used in sports to measure heart rate and blood pressure, as a pedometer, or to determine the exact GPS position. Meanwhile, the potential to use wearables for scientific purposes, e.g., data collection in diary studies seems substantial. Wearables offer various major advantages, such as being unobtrusive (important for the direct measurement of sensitive topics), not disturbing our daily routines (important for very frequent daily measurements), and being capable of running autonomously (i.e., independent from smartphones and Internet connections). This being said, the present project sets out to develop an open-source software for scientific purposes which should be easily adaptable (e.g., through further sensors, buttons) and work autonomously while implementing low power consumption and the option to store data locally altogether based on a freely available development board.

Self-financed Projects

ESM Wearable / ESM Board Admin

(c) Mbientlab

MetaWear Admin is a tool for using mbientlab MetaWear boards in experience sampling (ESM) research, which was developed at KL. The app is mainly tested and used with the wearable MetaMotion R. The idea is that researchers can use this tool to configure a device according to their needs (e.g. time/frequency of prompts, vibration, LED lights). The wearable can then be used independently and without having to be connected to a smartphone. All data is stored on the device itself and can be downloaded by reconnecting to the app at a later point in time.

ESM Wearable / T-Watch

Illustration 1 (c) LilyGo

In order to facilitate the conduction of Experience Sampling studies on a smartwatch form factor, we developed a firmware for the LilyGo T-Watch 2020 V2, a programmable smartwatch, here at the KL. This open-source software allows to easily implement studies employing self-reports on the T-Watch via simple configuration files. This allows researchers without programming skills to define the behavior of the device. The device can then notify participants and prompt them for inputs autonomously, with collected date being stored directly on the device.


Ease of Use

The device can be configured without programming skills. An open-source configuration application further simplifies this process.


The device works independent of other devices or an Internet connection. The configuration is read from a microSD card in the device, which also stores all collected data. This also increases data security, as they are only saved locally and not transferred over the Internet.


The firmware is open-source, meaning that the source code can be read and extended by anyone. This allows the firmware to grow over time, and enables researchers to independently add the features they need.


Main screen

Main screen with questionnaires available


Item with Likert scale

Item with Visual Analogue Scale

Item with selection options