nl en

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 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 occupational stressors and health 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 (2011-2012):

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures and work group meetings

  • Subgroup meetings (unsupervised)
    Full attendance is mandatory.

Assessment method

The assessment is based on: - Subgroup assignment (x 4)

  • Individual assignments (x 3)

  • Attendance and active participation (x 1)

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

Readings available via ‘Blackboard’. Exemplary literature includes:

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Engbers, L.H., van Poppel, M.N.M., Chin A Paw, M.J.M., & van Mechelen, W. (2005). Worksite Health Promotion Programs with Environmental Changes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 29(1), 61-70.

  • 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.

  • Serxner, S., Anderson, D.R., & Gold, D. (2004). Building program participation: Strategies for recruitment and retention in worksite health promotion programs. American Journal of Health Promotion, 18(4), 1-6.

  • Leka, S. & Cox, T. (2010). Psychosocial risk management at the workplace level. In: S. Leka & J. Houdmont (Eds.), Occupational Health Psychology. Wiley-Blackwell. (pp. 124-156)

  • Schaufeli, W.B. & Kompier, M.A.J. (2001). Managing Job stress in the Netherlands. International Journal of Stress Management, 8, 15-34.

  • Semmer, N.K. (2003). Job Stress Interventions and Organization of Work. In: Handbook of Occupational Psychology. J.C. Quick & T.E. Tetrick (Eds.). Washington: APA.

  • Randall, R. & Nielsen, K. (2010). Interventions to promote well-being at work. In: S. Leka & J. Houdmont (Eds), Occupational Health Psychology. Wiley-Blackwell. (pp. 88-123).

  • Nytro, K., Saskvik, P.O., Mikkelsen, A., Bohle, P., & Quinlan, M. (2000). An appraisal of key factors in the implementation of occupational stress interventions. Work & Stress, 14, 213-225.

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

Master’s introduction and enrolment day

Make a reservation in your agenda so you will not miss any information that you will need during your master’s programme MSc in Psychology. Please consult the Agenda master meetings

Contact information

Dr. M. van der Doef
Kamer 2B34
Tel.: +31 (0)71 527 3987