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Interventions in Occupational Health


Admission requirements

Master students MSc Psychology specialisation Occupational Health Psychology


This course will focus on interventions to promote health and well-being among employees. Attention is given to health promotion programs (e.g., life style interventions), as well as organisational interventions (e.g., work redesign). A stepwise approach is followed, starting from how to assess psychosocial job conditions / occupational risks, and health and well-being outcomes, to the development and implementation of an intervention program, and the evaluation of the effects.

The class sessions combine introductory lectures with in-class assignments. The topics addressed in these sessions are elaborated upon in individual homework assignments. Parallel to this, students will work autonomously in subgroups to develop an intervention program 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 program (including a rationale, an outline, and evaluation plans) to the other students. The intervention programs will be compared and critically discussed.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • have an up-to-date view on work site health promotion programs

  • 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 work site health promotion

  • have ideas for organizational interventions and lifestyle interventions to improve employee health and well-being

  • know how to evaluate an intervention in the worksetting

  • be able to make a global design for a work site intervention program applying scientific knowledge with regard to effective interventions


Interventions in Occupational Health (2014-2015):



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions. Please consult the Instructions registration

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures and work group meetings

  • Subgroup meetings (unsupervised)
    Full attendance is mandatory.

Assessment method

The assessment is based on: - Subgroup assignment (50%)

  • Individual assignments (40%)

  • Attendance and active participation (10%)

The Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud


Information on

Reading list

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

  • Carnethon, M., Whitsel, L.P., Franklin, B.A. et al. (2009). Worksite wellness programs for cardiovascular disease prevention. A policy statement from the American Health Association. _Circulation, 120, _1725-1741.

  • DeJoy, D, Wilson, M, Vandenberg, R, et al. (2010). Assessing the impact of healthy work organization intervention. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83(1), 139-165.

  • Maes, S. & van der Doef, M. (2004). Worksite Health Promotion. In A. Kaptein and J. Weinman (eds), Health Psychology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers (pp. 358-383).

  • Nielsen, K, Randall, R, Holten, A, et al. (2010). Conducting organizational-level occupational health interventions: What works?. _Work and Stress, 24(3), _234-259.

  • NIOSH (2008). Essential elements of effective workplace programs and policies for improving worker health and wellbeing. WorkLife, October 2008.

  • 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.

  • Stein, A.D., Shakour, S.K., & Zuidema, R.A. (2000). Financial incentives, participation in employer-sponsored health promotion, and changes in employee health and productivity: HealthPlus Health Quotient Program. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 42, 1148-1155.

Contact information

Dr. M. van der Doef
Kamer 2A07
Tel.: +31 (0)71 527 3987