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Psychotic disorders


The research program on psychosis focuses on the social context of psychosis, in relation to causes, course and treatment of psychosis. Epidemiological, observational and experimental study designs are used to investigate mechanisms and to develop novel treatments. Our mission is to improve prevention, treatment and prognosis of psychotic disorders.

Research projects


The diagnostic protocol for PROGR-S contains data of more than 1000 patients in Groningen province who were referred to a psychiatric institution with a suspected recent onset psychotic episode (<2 years). It still is an ongoing extensive diagnostic assessment for all patients with first episode psychosis in Groningen. PROGR-S is used for epidemiological studies, often in combination with Phamous data (see below) and health care consumption data. Examples include comparison of suicide rates in different periods, modeling of PROGR-S characteristics as predictors of the course of psychotic disorders and validation of clinical staging models.

Pharmacotherapy Monitoring and Outcome Survey (PHAMOUS)  

PHAMOUS is an ongoing survey which combines a yearly somatic screening with routine outcome measures in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or related psychotic disorder who are using antipsychotic medication.

Genetic Risk and Outcome in Psychosis  (GROUP)

GROUP is a multi site longitudinal cohort study aimed at investigating the genetic and non-genetic vulnerability and resilience factors for variation in the expression of non-affective psychotic disorders and variation in the course of these disorders.

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy in Psychosis (VRET-P)

VRET-P is a randomized controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of virtual reality therapy on social functioning in patients with psychotic disorders.

Dynamic interactive social cognition Virtual Reality training (DiSCoVR)

In this research project, a Virtual Reality social cognition training is developed. After a pilot study, a multisite randomized controlled trial will be conducted to investigate the effect of DiSCoVR on social cognition and social functioning of patients with psychotic disorders. This research project is conducted in close collaboration with GGZ Drenthe, RUG and CleVR.

Virtual Reality Aggression Prevention Training (VRAPT)

In this study, a Virtual Reality Aggression Prevention Training (VRAPT) is developed for patients in forensic psychiatry. VRAPT offers an interactive three-dimensional virtual ‘real-life’ world in which social situations and interactions can be experienced and practiced. In a randomized controlled trial, the effect of VRAPT compared to TAU is investigated. This research project is conducted in collaboration with Tilburg University, Delft University of Technology, CleVR, FPC Dr. S. van Mesdag in Groningen, FPC de Kijvelanden in Rotterdam, en FPC Pompestichting in Nijmegen.

Virtual Reality relaxation therapy (VRelax)

360 degrees video Virtual Reality environments are used to induce relaxation in patients with depression, anxiety or psychosis. Videos include swimming with wild dolphins and walking on Ameland. Collaboration with The Dolphin Swim Club and Viemr. See www.vrelax.com.

Cognitive REmediation and Work- study (CREW)

CREW investigates the effectiveness of Cognitive Remediation Training (CRT) embedded in vocational rehabilitation (IPS) for persons with early psychosis.

Beat Victimisation (BEVIC)

The chance that people with psychoses become victim of violent crimes is three times higher than in the general population. The BEVIC study investigates the effectiveness of a psychomotor assertiveness training with elements of kickboxing in persons with psychotic disorders.


This study aims to gain insight into the pathophysiology of visual hallucinations in psychotic disorders, using clinical tests and fMRI-scans.

Apathy study 

This study investigates the effects of rTMS (repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) versus transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

Research staff

Affiliated researchers