Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Diagnostics and Development

Principal investigators

Dr. Dipl.-Psych. Ana Nanette Tibubos
Prof. Dr. rer. biol. hum. habil. Elmar Brähler
Prof. Dr. med. Dipl. Psych. Manfred Beutel
Prof. Dr. Peter Schmidt

Research topic

Diagnostics and method application are central components of our research and clinical work. The main purpose of diagnostics is to gather information and establish relationships with our patients. In this regard, we develop, adapt, and validate diagnostic assessment tools. We also devote ourselves to the development and evaluation of intervention methods. You can find a list of our previous research work here. Our particular focus is on diagnostic assessment tools and methods closely related to mental and physical health. The development of short scales and methods enables their use in preventive and clinical settings at the population level.

Within the Mainz Mental Health (MMH), we provide excellent expertise (>100 international publications in the past 5 years) in the assessment of the entire range of mental and physical health (e.g. mental disorders, personality, quality of life, intrapsychic and social resources). These include development, sophisticated statistical evaluation, validation and standardization of novel diagnostic measures (Petrowski et al. 2018). Self-report and expert ratings are complemented by psychophysiological measures (EEG, HRV, skin conductance and humoral parameters). For the investigation of these mental processes new parameters were investigated (Endocannabinoids, BDNF, cfDNA, pollution parameters such as PM10, PM2,5 etc.) and new experimental procedures to diagnose dysfunctions of different pathways (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal system; autonomic nervous system; immunological processes). Brief biopsychosocial screening instruments (e.g., mental distress, personality, quality of life, social resources, resilience) have been made available for gender-sensitive prevention and intervention trials in diverse populations of the DZP (e.g. according to gender, migration status; Tibubos et al. 2018).
For the diagnosis of the increasingly prevalent Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) and Internet-related Disorders (IRDs) the MMH validated self and expert ratings based on DSM-5 diagnostic criteria (Scale for the Assessment of Internet and Computer game Addiction, AICA-S, Wölfling et al. 2012, Müller et al. 2014). AICA-S has been internationally recommended as screening and assessment tools for gaming disorder (King et al. 2020). We have developed a large set of brief biopsychosocial screening instruments including assessments of personality, stress, quality of life, intrapsychic, and social resources that have been thoroughly standardized and validated in large representative data sets of the German population, taking into account diversity aspects such as gender, age, socioeconomic status, and culture.

Selected publications

  • Burghardt J, Tibubos A. N., Otten, D., Brähler, E., Binder, H., Grabe, H., ... & Beutel, M. E. (2020). A multi-cohort consortium for GEnder-Sensitive Analyses of mental health trajectories and implications for prevention (GESA) in the general population in Germany. BMJ open, 10(2), e034220.

  • Tibubos A N, Schulz A, Klein EM., Braehler E, Michal M, Muenzel T, Wild P S, Lackner K, Koenig J, Pfeiffer N, Wiltink J, Beutel ME (2018) Is assessment of depression equivalent for migrants of different cultural backgrounds? Results from the German population-based Gutenberg Health Study (GHS) DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY; 35: 1178-1189

  • Wölfling K, Beutel ME, Müller KW (2012) Construction of a standardized clinical interview to assess internet addiction: first findings regarding the usefulness of AICA-C. Journal of Addiction Research and Therapy, 6.

  • Müller, K. W., Beutel, M. E., & Wölfling, K. (2014). A contribution to the clinical characterization of Internet addiction in a sample of treatment seekers: Validity of assessment, severity of psychopathology and type of co-morbidity. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 55(4), 770-777.

  • King DL, Chamberlain, S. R., Carragher, N., Billieux, J., Stein, D., Mueller, K., ... & Demetrovics, Z. (2020). Screening and assessment tools for gaming disorder: A comprehensive systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 77, 101831.

  • Petrowski, K., Schmalbach, B., Jagla, M., Franke, G.H., & Brähler, E. (2018). Norm values and psychometric properties of the brief symptom inventory-18 regarding individuals between the ages of 60 and 95. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18(1), 164. doi: 10.1186/s12874-018-0631-6.