Last Year of Life Study Cologne (LYOL-C)

German Version

Scientific management: Prof. Dr. Raymond Voltz, Dr. Julia Strupp (Department of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne), Prof. Dr. Christian Rietz (Mixed Methods Research University of Education Heidelberg)
Research associates: Gloria Dust, Alina Kasdorf
Duration: 02/2017 – 01/2020
Funding institution: Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Project Description

The subproject LYOL-C examines the last year of life of patients in Cologne independent from their indication. The research will be focused on the health and social care trajectories, transitions between different care Providers and the concomitant burden for both patients and relatives. The aim of the project is to demonstrate possibilities for optimization regarding the modification of trajectories, transparency of transitions, increase of sustainability of care, reduction of burden for patients and relatives, and more efficient use of resources.


Retrospective mixed methods study:

  • Secondary data analysis: Statutory Health Insurance (SHI) data from deceased patients in Cologne
  • Surveys with relatives (n = 400) of deceased patients in Cologne via postal questionnaire
  • Interviews with relatives (n = 40-60) of deceased patients in Cologne via qualitative manual-based interviews
  • Focus groups (n = 3–5) with professionals participating in health and social care at the end of life
Zur Person
Qualifications and professional experience
Since 07/2013 Research Coordinator at the Department of Palliative Medicine, University of Cologne
2015 Doctoral Thesis (Dr. rer. medic.) - Validation of the German Version of the Schedule of Attitudes towards Hastened Death (SAHD-D) (Prof. Dr. Raymond Voltz, Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne)
2011 Doctoral Thesis (Dr. paed.) - Successful aging of people with physical disabilities and the sense of coherence as a resource in the aging process (Prof. Dr. Mathilde Niehaus, Faculty of Human Sciences / University of Cologne)
2009 - 2013 Research Associate at the Department of Palliative Medicine, University of Cologne
2005 - 2009 Research Associate at the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS) at the Center of Excellence Women and Science (CEWS)
2004 Magistra Artium (M.A.)
1999 - 2004 Social and Behavioral Sciences (University of Hagen)
1999 - 2005 Division of Disability Services, Family Supportive Services, Diakonie Bonn
Research Focus
Health Services Research, the last year of life in Cologne, specialized outpatient palliative care, development of a tool to assess a desire to hasten death, palliative care integration for neurological patients (early integration, unmet needs); patient-centered care, palliative care structures for neurological patients
“Methods of Empirical Social Research, Text Analysis and Counselling and Intervention" (Master Gender & Queer Studies)
Medical Sociology (Research Processes in Medical Sociology), Seminar
Lecture series Research Track
Member of the Consilium for junior researchers at the University of Cologne (Representative for the Medical Faculty)
Member of the Research Working Group (AG Forschung) of the German Association of Palliative Medicine (DGP)
Steering Board Member CoReNet (Cologne Research and Development Network)
Completed projects
  • Validation of the German version of the Schedule of Attitudes toward Hastened Death (DKH funded)
  • Impact of a case management model on the specialised palliative care multi-professional team (DKH funded)
  • Palliative Care for severely affected MS patients: a Delphi survey of healthcare professionals (DMSG)
  • Multiple Sclerosis and Palliative Care: Assessing Unmet Needs“ (Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung)
  • Views on life of palliative care patients (DKH)
  • Advance Directive and Health Care Proxy – Strengthening cancer patient autonomy by improving surrogate decision making (CIO)
Reviewer (i.e.)
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Journal of Palliative Medicine
  • European Journal of Public Health
  • Zeitschrift für Palliativmedizin
  • PLOS One
  • Social Work in Health Care
  • Psycho-Oncology
Zur Person
(Academic) Career
Since 2016 Department of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital Cologne, Research associate
2014 - 2015 Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) Cologne, Research associate
2010 - 2013 M.Sc. Health Economics, University of Cologne and Aalto University School of Business Helsinki, Finland
2007 - 2010 B.Sc. Health Economics, University of Cologne


  • Medical Sociology Seminar (German), IMVR University of Cologne
  • Health Technology Assessment Seminar (German), IGKE University of Cologne (guest speaker)

Research Focus

  • Health Care Research, end of life

Current Project

  • Last Year of Life Study Cologne (LYOL-C)

Completed Projects

  • S3-Guideline Palliative Care for patients with incurable cancer

 Alina Kasdorf

Alina Kasdorf, M.A. Rehabilitation Sciences

Research Assistant

Last Year of Life Study Cologne (LYOL-C)

Zur Person
Qualifications and professional experience
Since 2019 Research Associate at Center of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital Cologne
2018 - 2019 Research Assistant at Center of Palliative Medicine
Since 2017 Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cologne
2017 - 2018 Research Assistant at Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn
2014 - 2017 Bachelor of Science in Occupational Psychology, Rheinische Fachhochschule - University of applied sciences Cologne
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