Hospital del Mar Research Institute Hospital del Mar Research Institute

Health services - Research lines

Our group applies epidemiologic and psychometric methods to produce new knowledge on the needs for healthcare and the outcomes of health services utilization. Our research interest focuses on the burden of common mental disorders and cancer. We use modern methods of measurement of health-related quality of life, well-being, function and disability. We also develop a number of educational, mentoring and knowledge transfer activities.


Frequency, risk factors, disabilities, and economic and social costs related to common mental disorders and suicide. We are members of the World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys, a consortium of 30+ countries, coordinated by Harvard University and WHO to promote international psychiatric epidemiology studies. J Alonso is the European coordinator and leader of the burden of mental health problems group.

Our research focuses on the burden of mental disorders and suicide thoughts and behaviors, and estimating the need for mental health care at the general population level and in specific populations (in particular, university students), conducted in several countries simultaneously. And, also, on the assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of healthcare workers and the general population.

Ongoing or recent projects

  • PROMES-U: Promoting mental health among university students. J. Alonso, IP. (ISCIII/FEDER PI20/0006, 2021-23).
    PROMES-U is a research project that aims to improve the mental health of university students by studying the factors that may influence the onset of mental health problems, as well as to carry out and evaluate online interventions to promote mental health and prevent depression and anxiety.
  • MINDCOVID: Mental health Impact and Needs associated with COVID-19. J. Alonso, Coordinador i IP. (ISCIII-Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación/FEDER COV20/00711, 2020-21).
    The primary objectives of the project were to: (1) assess the mental health impact of the COVID-19 outbreak among cases or close contacts recently isolated or quarantined, healthcare workers, and the general population; (2) identify risk and protective factors for adverse mental health onset and persistence; (3) quantify the use of available mental health resources; and (4) quantify unmet mental healthcare needs.
  • WEMWBS: Measuring mental well-being as an indicator for monitoring population health. G. Vilagut, IP. (ISCIII-FEDER PI19/00109, 2020-22).
    The project aimed to evaluate measurement properties of the Spanish Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well?Being Scale (WEMWBS) scale and its short version; to develop valid interpretation strategies for the WEMWBS for monitoring population health and evaluating prevention and health promotion interventions; and to advance knowledge on mental well?being in Catalonia and its determinants, trends over time and comparison with other European populations.
  • CODIRISC: Population incidence of suicide attempt and repeated suicide attempt: evaluation of the Code suicide risk of Catalonia. J. Alonso, Coordinador i IP. (ISCIII-FEDER PI17/00521, 2018-22).
    This project aimed to: (A) estimate the population incidence of suicide attempt and reattempt; (B) identify clinical, demographic, psychometric, neuropsychological and biological factors and stress response (psychoneuroendocrine, inflammatory, genetic and neuroimaging markers) in suicide attempts; and (C) evaluate the effectiveness and cost of the Suicide Risk Code (CRS) program.


This emerging research line, led by Dr Philippe Mortier, studies the occurrence and determinants of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in general and clinical populations. We use state-of-the-art methodologies (e.g., machine learning, ambulatory assessment) to model and predict suicidal thoughts and behaviors and related adverse outcomes. Furthermore, through a multidisciplinary network of national and international research partners, we develop user-oriented clinical decision support tools that improve suicide risk management across various healthcare settings. We hereby encourage the development of personalized suicide prevention interventions, based on the best scientific evidence, as well as the tailored allocation of healthcare resources.

Ongoing or recent projects

  • PERMANENS: Towards Personalized Clinical Management of Suicide Risk through Data-Driven Clinical Decision Support using Transnational Electronic Registry Data. P. Mortier, IP. (ERAPERMED JTC 2022 2022-091 / ISCIII AC22/00006, 2023-25).
    The PERMANENS project aims to improve suicide prevention by developing a personalised Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS), i.e., a medical software programme that assists in the personalised clinical evaluation and management of suicide risk. The CDSS will innovate current clinical practice by (1) increasing the prediction accuracy of suicide risk assessment; (2) enabling risk assessment for inadequate treatment delivery among patients with suicide risk; (3) enabling fine-grained clinical risk stratification; and (4) enabling the personalised matching of the identified risk profiles with effective treatment in order to improve indicated and tailored treatment trajectories among patients with suicide risk.
  • RECIPROC: Hacia la prevención personalizada del suicidio: mejorar la evaluación del riesgo clínico y la asignación del tratamiento indicado entre los pacientes con riesgo de suicidio. P. Mortier, IP. (ISCIII PI22/00107, 2023-25).
    The RECIPROC project aims to improve suicide prevention by developing a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) prototype that assists clinicians across various healthcare settings in the personalized evaluation and management of suicide risk.
  • Cap a la prevenció personalitzada del risc de suïcidi - Millora de l'avaluació clínica del risc i de l'assignació al tractament en els pacients en risc de suïcidi. P. Mortier, IP. (Fundació la Marató de TV3 202220-30-31, 2023-25).
    The project aims to develop a prototype of a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS), i.e., a medical software program that assists clinicians in the personalized evaluation and management of suicide risk.


Adaptation and validation of over 50 PROMs into Spanish, and development of a standard guide for evaluating the quality of these instruments (EMPRO). We have created and maintain BiblioPRO, a virtual library of PROMs in Spanish.

We participate in the development of a new toolkit to measure Quality of Life in European cancer patients (EuonQoL, EU Mission Cancer); in the implementation of PROMs and PREMs in routine clinical care (FIS ISCIII 2022-24); and we are part of major international initiatives: PROMIS-Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, ISOQOL-International Society for Quality of Life Research Committee of Standards and Good Scientific Practices, ICHOM-International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement, COSMIN-COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments and SISAQOL-Setting International Standards in Analysing Patient-Reported Outcomes and Quality of Life Endpoints.

Ongoing or recent projects

  •  EUonQoL: Quality of Life in Oncology: measuring what matters for cancer patients and survivors in Europe. M. Ferrer, IP. European Commission Horizon Europe Cancer Mission calls 2022 (Proposal 101096362, 2023-26).

EUonQoL aims to develop, pilot and validate the EUonQoL-Kit, a patient-driven, unified system for the assessment of quality of life (QoL) based on evaluations and preferences of cancer patients and survivors. The EUonQoL-Kit will be developed from a patient perspective, administered digitally, available in the EU27 and Associated countries languages, and applicable in future, periodic surveys to contribute to the EU's mission on cancer.

  • Implementing PROMs and PREMs in routine clinical care: assessment of requirements and impact. O. Garin, IP. (ISCIII and co-funded by the European Union PI21/00026, 2022-24).
    The objective is to evaluate the efficacy of the implementation of PROMs and PREMs in routine clinical care for improving health outcomes and satisfaction with health management.
  • Implementation of PRO measures in SpainO. Garin, IP. (ISCIII-FEDER PI16/00130, 2017-21).
    Evaluation of the quality and the implementations in Spain during the last decade of specific PRO instruments (Patient-Reported Outcomes) for patients with priority pathologies: back and neck pain, ischemic heart disease, diabetes, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


Comparative effectiveness research with PROMs as main endpoints, as well as the application of PROMs and PREMs in economic evaluations, patient monitoring in routine clinical care and improvement of the quality of care. We have created and follow up one of the largest cohorts of localized prostate cancer in Europe (ISCIII 2022-24, AECC 2022-25, and Movember Foundation's TrueNTH Global Registry).

Ongoing or recent projects

  • SISAQOL: Establishing international standards in the analysis of patient-reported outcomes and health-related quality of life data in cancer clinical trials. M. Ferrer, comitè assessor. (EC Horizon 2020, 945042, 2021-24).
    With a strong international and multi-stakeholder Consortium, the initiative aims at finding consensus on suitable methods to analyse valid PRO objectives in cancer randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and ways to communicate these PRO findings in a standardized way that is understandable to all.
  • Comparative effectiveness research for shared decision making on traditional and new treatment modalities in localized prostate cancer. M. Ferrer, IP. (ISCIII PI21/00023 2022-24, AECC PRYES223070FERR 2022-25).
    The primary objectives of the project are two: (1) To compare the effectiveness in patients with localized prostate cancer in terms of mortality, cancer control and patient-reported outcomes (PROs), between: A. Open radical prostatectomy, pre-planned brachytherapy, and 3D conformal external radiotherapy, 20 years after treatment; and B. Active surveillance, robotic prostatectomy, real-time brachytherapy and image-guided radiation therapy, 5 years after treatment. (2) To develop a decision aid that incorporates patient-reported outcomes for each treatment option, together with cancer control endpoints, which ensures adequate patient knowledge about localized prostate cancer and treatment alternatives for facilitating the process of shared decision making.
  • TNGR-PCO: TrueNTH Global Registry -Prostate Cancer Outcomes. M. Ferrer, IP. (Movember Foundation TNGR-PCO, 2017-23).
    The TrueNTH Global Registry (TNGR) is an international registry for men with localized and locally advanced prostate cancer. Currently, over 92,000 men from 13 countries are participating.  More than 58,000 questionnaires (or PRO) collected highlight what it's really like to have prostate cancer. Gathering this information in a large-scale registry allows us to identify population-wide trends in diagnosis and treatment practices, understand what effect different treatments are having on quality of life, and track survival rates globally.
  • Effectiveness of the treatment of massive tears in the shoulder rotator cuff, assessed with relevant results for the patient. M. Ferrer, IP; C Torrens, co- IP (ISCIII-FEDER PI18/00152, 2019-23).
    This study aimed to achieve (1) Identification, through a qualitative study, of those treatment results that are relevant to people with massive tears in the rotator cuff of the shoulder joint; and
    (2) Comparison of the effectiveness of conservative treatment, arthroscopic decompression surgery and reverse shoulder prosthesis, in terms of results that are relevant to the patients and to health-related quality of life.
  • ARCA: Assessment of treatment with Long Acting Bronchodilators in children with asthma. M. Ferrer, IP. (ISCIII-FEDER PI15/00449 2016-2020).
    The ARCA study aimed to assess: (1) The risk of severe asthma exacerbations in children with asthma treated with long acting bronchodilators (LABAs), compared with those treated only with inhaled corticosteroids (ICs); and (2) The health-related quality of life of children with asthma in Spain and its relationship with treatment adherence and symptom control, according to the type of treatment and age.


Jordi Alonso(ELIMINAR)

(34) 93 316 07 60

(34) 93 316 07 97

Doctor Aiguader, 88
08003 Barcelona

© Institut Hospital del Mar
d'Investigacions Mèdiques
Legal Notice and Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Site Index | Accessibility | Find Us | Contact