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Interventions in Occupational Health


Important Note

  • All Semester II bachelor and master psychology courses and examinations (2020-2021) will be offered in an on-line format.

  • If it is safe and possible to do so, supplementary course meetings may be planned on-campus. However, attendance at these meetings will not be required to successfully complete Semester II courses.

  • All obligatory work groups and examinations will be offered on-line during Central European Time, which is local time in the Netherlands.

  • Information on the mode of instruction and the assessment method per course will be offered in Brightspace, considering the possibilities that are available at that moment. The information in Brightspace is leading during the Corona crisis, even if this does not match the information in the Prospectus.

Entry requirements

Only open to master’s students in Psychology with specialisation Occupational Health Psychology.


This course focuses on interventions to promote employee health and well-being. Attention is given to individual focused health promotion (e.g., life style interventions), as well as organisational interventions (e.g., job redesign). A stepwise approach is followed, starting from how to assess psychosocial job conditions / occupational risks and health / well-being outcomes, to the development, implementation, and evaluation of an intervention programme. The workgroup sessions combine mini lectures with in-class assignments. The topics addressed are elaborated upon in individual homework assignments. Parallel to this, students work autonomously in subgroups to develop an evidence-based intervention programme for a specific work setting. Case descriptions, based on actual situations in e.g. health care and manufacturing industry, are used as a starting point. At the end of the course each subgroup will present their intervention programme (including a rationale, an outline, and evaluation plans) to the other students. The intervention programmes will be compared and critically discussed.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Be acquainted with some methods to assess psychosocial job conditions / occupational risks and health/well-being in employees;

  • Be aware of the potential benefits / advantages of the worksite as a setting for health promotion, and of the ethical issues involved in worksite health promotion; and

  • Be able to design a tailored worksite intervention to improve employee health and well-being applying scientific knowledge with regard to effective interventions.

This course prepares students for their future role as occupational health psychologists in which they may need to assess occupational risks / psychosocial job conditions and employee health and well-being in diverse organisational settings, and design and implement tailored evidence-based interventions to improve employee health and well-being.


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in: Psychology timetables




Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions. Master’s course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

The course starts off with a plenary 3-hour session, followed by six 3-hour workgroup sessions, and ends with two 3-hour plenary presentation & discussion sessions. All phases and crucial aspects of the intervention process will be addressed, from assessment and problem analysis of the current situation, to the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions.

Attendance to all sessions is mandatory.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on:

  • Subgroup assignment: report and presentation (50%)

  • Individual assignments (50%)

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Leka, S. & Houdmont, J. (Eds.)(2010) Occupational Health Psychology. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Chapters (note: this book will also be used in the course ’Work and Stress’)

Further readings will be announced via Blackboard. Exemplary literature includes:

  • Allegrante, J, & Sloan, R. (1986). Ethical dilemmas in workplace health promotion. Preventive Medicine, 15(3), 313-320.

  • Cahalin, L.P., Kaminsky, L., Lavie, C.J., et al. (2015). Development and implementation of worksite health and wellness programs: A focus on Non-communicable disease. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 58, 94-101.

  • Grossmeier, J., Terry, P.E., Cipriottio, A. & Burtaine, J.E. (2010). Best practices in Evaluating Worksite Health Promotion Programs. American Journal of Health Promotion, 24(3), The Art of Health Promotion 1-9, iii.

  • Nielsen, K, Randall, R, Holten, A, et al. (2010). Conducting organizational-level occupational health interventions: What works?. Work and Stress, 24(3), 234-259.

  • Robroek, S, van Lenthe, F, van Empelen, P, & Burdorf, A. (2009). Determinants of participation in worksite health promotion programmes: A systematic review. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 6(1), 26.

  • Tetrick, L.E. & Winslow, C.J. (2015). Workplace stress management interventions and health promotion. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 2, 583-603.

  • Toker, S., Heaney, C.A. & Ein-Gar, D. (2015) Why won’t they participate? Barriers to participation in worksite health promotion programmes. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 24(6), 866-881.

  • Van Berkel, J., Meershoek, A., Janssens, R., Boot, C., & Proper, K. (2014). Ethical considerations of worksite health promotion: An exploration of stakeholders' views. BMC Public Health, 14, 458

Contact information

Dr. Margot van der Doef