Mood disorders may lead to personal suffering and societal costs. The ICPE programme intends to provide insight into the onset and progress of mood problems and the inter-individual differences therein. The overall aim is to reduce the burden of mood-related disorders by developing novel personalized interventions based on this knowledge.

The ICPE research programme studies biological, psychological, and social factors that play a role in the onset and course of mood problems. The processes being studied range from mood disorders developing over the course of several years to problems becoming manifest within weeks or even days.

The ICPE researchers combine longitudinal epidemiological studies using data from large cohorts such as TRAILS, NESDA, and Lifelines with in-depth diary studies, which help us to understand mood fluctuations and related factors in daily life.

The ICPE team aims to:

  • Unravel mechanisms and pathways involved in the development of mood disorders;
  • Develop better, more personalized prevention and treatment strategies.

Improving daily mood

Mood disorders are becoming an alarmingly fast-growing health problem. For instance, more than 100 million people worldwide are suffering from depression. The negative consequences of these disorders are considerable. Mood disorders not only affect the everyday lives of individuals with these disorders but also reduce productivity and participation and, therefore, have a major impact on society.

The ICPE research helps to prevent mood disorders and provide tailored treatment to patients, thus improving their day-to-day mood, productivity, and participation in society.

In addition to transferring the acquired knowledge to practice, it is also shared with fellow scientists and the general public because the ICPE aims to provide all with insight into mood problems and how to deal with these.

  • The ICPE team has developed a free online course on mental health to teach young people how to recognize common mental problems and what they can do about them. The course material consists of explanation videos, personal stories, animation videos, short exercises, and interviews.

    The course is intended for:

    • Young people aged ≥ 14 years;
    • Teachers (the modules can be included in the curriculum and are worth a certain number of credit points);
    • Parents and all others interested in young people’s mental health.

    See also: Online course "Young People and Mental Health"

    The development of this MOOC was financially supported by EIT Health.

  • Mental disorders are very common and can have a major impact on daily life. They can occur in varying degrees of severity and manifest in different ways. This applies to various types of mental illnesses, such as depression or psychosis.

    Early recognition of mental disorders is important because appropriate interventions help individuals deal with their problems and may prevent disease progression. Intervention strategies can be tailored to disease severity. Open conversations about mental illness are the key to increasing knowledge and providing insight into what it means to live with it.

    Hanneke Wigman explains in TEDx Talks "Why mental health is something that concerns all of us" why mental health may concern all of us.

  • The ICPE research team is developing an interface to facilitate the use of personalized diaries in clinical practice. The interface is called PETRA: PErsonalized Treatment Real-time Assessment.

    Personalized diaries can provide patients and clinicians with more insight into the development of mental health problems and contributing factors. The aim of PETRA is to improve patient-clinician relationships, increase patients’ self-management, guide treatment decisions, and make care more efficient.


University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Institute SHARE
ICPE - Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation
P.O. Box 196
9700 AD Groningen
The Netherlands