nl en

Interventions in Occupational Health


Entry requirements

Only open to master’s students in Psychology with the 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. For an active learning experience in the classroom, each week students do a preparatory assignment on the topic at hand. The topics addressed are furthermore elaborated upon in three 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

At the end of this course, the student can:

  • identify instruments and tests to assess psychosocial job conditions/occupational risks and health/well-being in employees;

  • execute a risk/problem analysis for a job/organisation, and use this analysis to formulate suggestions for intervention/re-design;

  • critically reflect on the ethical issues involved in worksite health promotion;

  • identify evidence-based organisational and individual-focused interventions to improve employee health and well-being;

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

  • describe different research methods to evaluate interventions to improve employee health and well-being;

  • communicate a proposal for a worksite intervention programme in a manner fitting the audience (i.e. employer/management, employees, and researchers).

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 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.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. You cannot take an exam without a valid registration 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

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. For each workgroup session, students do a preparatory assignment on the topic at hand. 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%)

  • Three individual assignments (50%)

Note: both the grade for the subgroup assignment and average grade for the three individual assignments need to be 5.5 to pass the course. A retake for an assignment that leads to a no-pass will be maximally graded 6.0.

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. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. 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 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 (note: this book will also be used in the course ’Work and Stress’)

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

  • Fernandez, M.E., Ruiter, R.A.C., Markham, C.M., et al. (2019). Intervention Mapping: Theory- and Evidence-Based Health Promotion Program Planning: Perspective and Examples. Frontiers in Public Health, 7, 209.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

Dr. Juriena de Vries