The Institute of Public Health of USI (Faculty of Biomedical Sciences) is conducting an epidemiological study in the elderly population of Ticino called SwissDEM.


What is all about 

SwissDEM is the first epidemiological study in the elderly population of Ticino.  

SwissDEM is a populational study, conducted with the population and for the population and it is part of the cantonal dementia strategy*.   

The study will cover all three language regions of Switzerland, collecting data in Ticino, Zurich and Geneva.

The name "SwissDEM" combines the word 'Switzerland' with the word 'dêmos' (δῆμος 'the population', in ancient Greek), recalling the word dementia.



SwissDEM is financed by the Swiss National Fund (SNSF 184794).

The study is approved by the cantonal ethics commitee of Ticino, Zurich and Geneva


About SwissDEM 

Prof. Emiliano Albanese, is the principal investigator of SwissDEM. 

The study is conducted by the Institute of Public Health (IPH) of USI and the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DSS) of the Canton Ticino, in collaboration with Pro Senectute, the Council of Elderly People (CdA), and Alzheimer Ticino.  



SwissDEM aims to investigate on the health status of the older adults, and in particular the impact of dementia on those affected, their families, and the community.


How it works 

Participation consists in answering a number of health questions and in taking some memory, language and orientation tests. Some questions are also asked to a family member or friend of the participant. The interview with the participant lasts between 45 and 60 minutes on average, the interview with the family member about 15 minutes.

All data is collected by an interviewer on a tablet, and stored in a data capturing system that ensure confidentiality and data protection.



One thousand (1,000) participants will be randomly sampled amongst all individuals between 65 and 100 years of age currently residing in Ticino. Selected people will receive an information letter from the Canton, and will be contacted by USI to agree on a date and place of preference for the interview.



The 100%SwissDEM awareness campaign will start on May 11th, 2020 with a Facebook channel and a website.

Invitations to participants will be sent in the following months. The first interviews will take place starting from September 2020.

The study will last about 2 years.



Getting to know the state of health of the Ticino population over 65 years of age.

Providing valuable information to develop interventions, organize services, and guide the social and health policies and practices of our Canton.

Contributing to improving the quality of life of people living in Ticino.



email [email protected]

tel. 058 666 49 61


*The progressive decline of cognitive functions (including memory, language, reasoning, and attention) and of autonomy is commonly called dementia. It is a syndrome that can be caused by several diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. Although there is no cure for dementia, the symptoms of dementia can be prevented and treated. Much can and must be done to take care of both those who suffer from dementia and those around them, particularly their family members. The aim of the cantonal strategy is to reduce the impact of dementia through the coordination of concerted actions and efforts at the societal level.