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Somatoform disorders


The research program on somatoform disorders focuses on two main areas. The first is the etiology of somatoform disorders. We aim to identify risk factors for and trajectories leading to the development of medically unexplained symptoms, using large population cohorts. The second area is treatment of medically unexplained symptoms. The main topic here is the development of a personalized internet-based self-help intervention.

Research projects

Master your symptoms

Master your symptoms (in Dutch: Grip op klachten) is a personalized internet-based self-help intervention, aimed to support patients with medically unexplained symptoms and their general practitioners. Based on the results of self-report questionnaires and electronic diary entries, patients receive personalized feedback and self-help advice. The intervention has an eclectic nature and contains elements of patient education, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, physiotherapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy each of which has shown modest effectiveness. Within the research program attached to this intervention, we study effectiveness of self-help advices in relation to patient characteristics.

TRacking Adolescents Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS)

TRAILS is an ongoing, multidisciplinary research project on the psychological, social and physical development of children towards adulthood. Nearly 2900 people participate, since their tenth year.

LifeLines Cohort Study

Lifelines is a three-generation observational cohort and biobank designed to investigate universal risk factors and complex interactions between environmental, phenotypic and genomic factors in the development of chronic multifactorial diseases in a population-based sample.

Research staff