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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 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 meta-analysis evaluating the effects of psychological interventions in chronic disease;

  • 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, seminars, reading assignments, and preparatory homework assignments. The course objectives will be assessed by a written exam (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 2 and 3).


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in:
Psychology timetables

Lectures Work group sessions



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 review-type lectures

  • 7 3-hour seminars. Attendance is mandatory for the seminars.

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. Questions have to be answered in English.

The grade for the seminars will be determined on the basis of the presentation and paper.

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 blackboard (BB). In order to be able to attend this post exam consultation, an appointment needs to be made by contacting the coordinator. 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. (Chapter 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15).

  • The lecture slides posted on Blackboard.

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.

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)