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Evaluating Interventions in Patients with Chronic Disease


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

The course Evaluating Interventions in Patients with Chronic Diseases is open to MSc Psychology (research) students, Clinical and Health Psychology track.


The course consists of both lectures and interactive seminars. In the lectures, the clinical characteristics and epidemiology of a variety of chronic diseases (e.g. coronary heart disease, pain syndromes, cancer, diabetes) will be addressed. The assessment of psychosocial problems associated with these diseases as well as frequently used psychological assessment instruments measuring these psychosocial problems will also be discussed, both from a conceptual and methodological perspective. In addition, the theoretical concepts related to determinants/predictors of psychosocial problems (e.g. illness perceptions, stress, coping) will be addressed. Finally, the evaluation of generic as well as disease-specific psychosocial interventions that focus on improving health-related quality of life and/or self-management in patients with chronic disease will be discussed.

The interactive seminars will focus on the psychometric aspects of different assessment instruments and the methodology and effectiveness of specific intervention techniques and strategies in patients with chronic disease. The concepts related to and principles underlying cognitive-behaviour therapy and self-regulation theory serve as a theoretical framework.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • Acquire in-depth knowledge regarding various chronic diseases, including clinical characteristics, epidemiology, psychosocial consequences and interventions.

  • Learn to reflect on the assessment of the psychosocial consequences of chronic diseases, including psychometric issues, and the relevance and effectiveness of psychological interventions in chronic patients;

  • Learn to critically discuss a meta-analysis evaluating the effects of psychological interventions in chronic diseases;

  • Acquire research skills allowing them to develop, conduct, and evaluate psychosocial measurements and interventions for patients with chronic somatic conditions. as a preparation to the professional setting.

The course objectives will be pursued through the use of different working methods: lectures, workgroups, reading assignments and preparatory homework assignments. The course objectives will be assessed by a written exam (course objectives 1 and 2) and a presentation and paper (two students working together) on (the assessment of) the psychological consequences and interventions in a chronic disease or condition selected by the students (course objectives 3 and 4).


For the timetables of your lectures, work group sessions, and exams, see the timetables page of your study programme. You will also find the enrolment codes here. 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

  • 7 2-hour lectures

  • 7 3-hour work groups. Attendance is mandatory for the work groups.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on a grade for the written exam (40%) and a grade for the seminars (60%).

The written exam consists of 4 open questions. The exam will be in English. Also, the exam questions have to be answered in English.

The grade for the seminars will be determined on the basis of the presentation and paper. The presentation needs to be given in English and the paper needs to be written in English.

Students need to have a sufficient exam grade and a sufficient grade for the seminar to pass the course.

Post-exam consultation will be on an individual basis.
The date and location of the post exam consultation will be posted on Brightspace. In order to be able to attend this post exam consultation, an appointment needs to be made by contacting the coordinators. Post-exam consultation will only be possible on the designated date and at the designated time.

Study material for the exam

  • Boyer, B.A., Paharia, M.I. (Eds.) (2008). Comprehensive Handbook of Clinical Health Psychology. Hoboken: J. Wiley & Sons. (Chapters 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15)

  • The lecture slides posted on Brightspace

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

Boyer, B.A., Paharia, M.I. (Eds.) (2008). Comprehensive Handbook of Clinical Health Psychology. Hoboken: J. Wiley & Sons.

Optional (contains extra information regarding literature reviews and meta-analyses):
Fink, A. (2014). Conducting research literature reviews. From the internet to paper. (Fourth Edition).

Contact information

Dr. Véronique De Gucht and Dr. Judy Veldhuijzen (coordinators of the course) and