Pain is the most disabling health condition worldwide. It impacts patients, their nearests, their colleagues and employers, and society as a whole. Loss of work participation is the largest contributor to societal impact. Interdisciplinary rehabilitation can be an effective and cost-effective intervention to reduce the impact of pain, however, mean effect sizes are modest, and its working mechanisms are poorly understood. In order to better serve patients with chronic pain, we need to study underlying mechanisms and to get more insight in ‘what works for whom and why?’

Because pain is multifaceted and because it can be a disease on its own or a symptom secondary to another condition, we collaborate with many other disciplines and research groups from the UMCG / RuG, such as: 

  • EXPAND – Extremities,
  • UMCG Pain Centre,
  • UMCG Movement sciences SMART ,
  • Social medicine and public health, 
  • Epidemiology.

We also have multiple national and international collaborations. 


How our studies benefits patients and society

largest driver of societal impact. Our studies aim to decrease the personal and societal burden of pain. 
Examples of studies: 

  • Effectiveness of (components of) pain rehabilitation
  • Cost-effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation
  • Measurement of disability and work participation
  • Biopsychosocial determinants of (loss of) work participation
  • Assessment of functional capacity
  • Assessment, consequences and impact of central sensitization
  • Dynamic and interrelated determinants of functioning
  • Long-term functioning of patients with back pain (Groningen Spine Cohort)