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Evaluating Interventions in Patients with Chronic Disease


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 conditions, 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 diseases will be discussed.

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

Course objectives

Students will:

  1. Acquire in-depth knowledge regarding various chronic diseases, including clinical characteristics, epidemiology, psychosocial consequences and interventions.
  2. 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;
  3. Learn to critically discuss a meta-analysis evaluating the effects of psychological interventions in chronic diseases;
  4. 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 focusing on a critical evaluation of a meta-analysis concerning the effectiveness of psychological interventions for a specific chronic somatic disease or condition (objectives 3 and 4).


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


It is mandatory for all students to register for each exam and to confirm registration for each exam in My Studymap. This is possible up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the examination. You cannot take an exam without a valid pre-registration and confirmation in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure

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. The exam questions have to be answered in English.
The grade for the seminars will be determined on the basis of the presentation (20%) and paper (80%). 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. You will be informed via Brightspace about the method of, and how to sign up for, the post- exam consultation.

In order to be able to attend this post-exam consultation, an appointment needs to be made by contacting the course coordinators. Post-exam consultation will only be possible on the designated date and at the designated time and only if you were registered for the course and took the exam.

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 and weblectures 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. (2019). Conducting research literature reviews. From the internet to paper. (Fifth Edition). Los Angeles, Sage.

Contact information

Dr. Judy Veldhuijzen and Dr. Henriët van Middendorp (coordinators of the course) and