People with health issues or a chronic or life-threatening illness often experience difficulties in managing their treatment and adapting to their illness. Many face problems with adhering to treatment and a healthy lifestyle, as well as psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.

Our mission is to optimise the psychological well-being and care for patients and their significant others and health care professionals. Therefore, we examine what enables and impedes adaptation to health issues and illness, informal care giving and well-being of health care professionals, as a means to develop new interventions.

In order to reach our mission, we combine fundamental, applied and clinical research.

  • We study the psychosocial aspects of adaptation to physical illness in patients and their significant others.
  • We study the psychological and work-related functioning of (future) health care professionals.
  • We examine the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of screening and psychological interventions.
Relevance

Better psychosocial care

In the coming decades, the number of people with a chronic or long-term somatic illness requiring care and adaptation will continue to increase. This is partly due to earlier detection of disorders and better treatment methods, but also to the ageing of the population. The health and quality of life of these people can be improved by promoting adaptation to the disease and its consequences. To optimize the adjustment, we do not only focus on the individual, but also on his or her social environment, including relatives and carers, and healthcare professionals.

We try to better understand the complexity of adaptation processes to improve psychosocial care. Our goal is:

  • optimising the use of psychosocial interventions;
  • optimising informed decision-making and use of care by recognizing the importance of choice and personal values and the role of informal caregivers in complex healthcare;
  • improving access to interventions by designing new types of interventions using technical solutions, such as e-health or m-health;
  • strengthening the role of relatives and healthcare professionals, for example by offering psychosocial support and coaching to these groups.