Areas of research

Ceb Areas of Research

  • We investigate the comparative effectiveness of health care interventions through systematic reviews, health technology assessments, and own primary research projects (randomized trials and observational analyses).
  • With our methodological research we intend to improve the validity of the results from clinical research to ensure reliable decision making for patients and decision makers.
  • Our involvement in several national and international observational cohort studies allows us to investigate prognostic factors and long-term safety of drugs using real world data.

Comparative Effectiveness Research

Comparative effectiveness research provides evidence on the effectiveness of different diagnostic and treatment options to inform health care decisions. This evidence on benefits and harms of health interventions is generated in clinical studies like randomized controlled trials, pragmatic trials, and observational studies using real world data. This evidence can be combined in systematic reviews and meta-analyses syntheses. ceb is active in all areas.

Examples of ongoing research are:

  • We investigate aspects of long-term efficiency and safety of antiretroviral drugs in HIV infection
  • We investigate the use of antibiotics for respiratory infections and conduct interventions trials to optimize antibiotic use in primary care

Please find further information in our publications and project descriptions.

Evidence synthesis

We conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses on drugs, devices, diagnostic tests and procedures or surgical interventions in various medical fields, including infectious diseases (HIV, antibiotic stewardship), cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, radiotracer therapy or surgery.

We use fit for purpose methods for the evidence generation including direct or indirect comparisons (Bucher method), network meta-analyses, meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy (bivariate meta-analysis and HSROC) and aggregated or individual patient data meta-analyses.

Please find further information in our publications and project descriptions.

Observational data analysis

We are engaged in several national and international observational cohort studies allowing us to investigate prognostic factors and long-term effectiveness and safety of drugs using real world data. ceb has long-standing experience in observational data analysis, in particular in the area of HIV infection (Swiss HIV Cohort Study). The Swiss Transplant Cohort Study data center is associated with the institute.

Please find further information in our publications and project descriptions.

Pragmatic trials

Pragmatic trials aim to maximize the applicability of clinical trial results. We conduct pragmatic trials with the aim to change clinical practice by evaluating the value of medical interventions in routine care. One focus of our research is to use routinely collected reimbursement claims data as basis for nationwide interventions in primary care. More recently we developed novel approaches to improving antibiotic use in primary care in order to reduce antibiotic resistance, a serious, worldwide problem.

Please find further information in our publications and project descriptions.

Methodological research and guidance development and research on research

With our methodological research we intend to improve the validity of clinical research findings to ensure reliable decision making of patients and healthcare professionals, a central goal of clinical epidemiology.

  • ceb is investigating the reasons for discontinuation of clinical trials. Trial discontinuation leads to loss of information and is a major reason for waste of precious resources in clinical research.
  • We are investigating the quality and validity of routinely collected data and from observational cohort studies with the goal to increasing the reliability of analyses of this data. We explore how these data sources can be optimally used to aid health care decision making and to improve patients' health.
  • ceb is engaged in initiatives aiming to improve research reporting, for example of studies using routinely collected health data, and efficient use of research spending
  • Guidance development is a pre-requisite for the adequate evaluation and reporting of clinical trials and therefore a cornerstone for the improvement and advance of clinical research. Our continued involvement in this area aims at improving the evidence not just for one clinical questions but the evidence available in general by helping to develop tools that can be used by other investigators. We have contributed to tools for the evaluation of the quality of evidence or risk of bias of studies (e.g. GRADE, QUADAS-2, PROBAST), reporting of studies (e.g. RECORD, SPIRIT) as well as guidance for HTA reports (EUnetHTA guidance for screening technologies, EUnetHTA guidance for the evaluation of the risk of bias of non-randomized studies).

Please find further information in our publications and project descriptions.

Collaboration partners



ceb is founding member of the Swiss Center of Comparative Effectiveness and Health Economic Research (S-CORE). S-CORE is a network of excellence of the University of Basel unifying high profile specialists for health economics, pharmacoepidemiology, health system research and clinical epidemiology.

Observational Study Projects

ceb has the following observational study projects and collaborations:

STCS - Swiss Transplant Cohort Study

ceb collaborates with the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study

Observational Studies in HIV Infection

ceb collaborates with several national and international observational studies in HIV infection

Methodological research projects

ceb collaborates with several partners in the area of methodological research. In particular in the areas of

  • Comparative treatment effects of on-label and off-label drug use
  • 'Real world' observational data for comparative effectiveness research

Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics McMaster University CLARITY group

  • Stopping trials early for benefit – are decisions conservative enough (STOP-IT 3)
  • Heparin for cancer – individual patient data meta-analysis
  • Grading Recommendations, Assemssment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE)

National and International Collaborations

ceb has collaborations with the following national and international partners:

Support our research

Health has a high value, it is probably the most valuable good. Innovation in medicine and ageing of society are the most important reasons for the steadily increasing demand for health care.

Health of people at large is a relevant and basic factor that determines the competitiveness of a society. Therefore, questions on the effectiveness of medicine to promote, maintain or restore health of individuals and on how to optimally allocate scarce resources in health care are important factors that will determine productivity and social well-being of a society.

Our patient-oriented research and our teaching is driven by innovation in medicine and health care. We create evidence-based knowledge leading to better decision making in clinical practice and health care policy. We provide evidence for decision making and optimal resource allocation in health care.

The quality of our research, our research priorities, the systematic development of our research infrastructure and the competitive acquisition of financial resources allow us to fulfill our mission.

Your contribution to the institute is an important step in helping us to achieve our goals. We invite you to ask for a personal presentation about our activities. We would feel delighted and honored to inform you about concrete and controllable ways to support our institute.

Please contact:

Prof. Heiner C. Bucher, MD MPH
Head of Institute

Phone +41 61 556 5100