Topic: Population health
This research line is part of the living lab of the University’s Population Health interdisciplinary program, located at the LUMC Campus The Hague, where the Leiden University Medical Center collaborates with the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs and the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences on the topic of Population Health. We contribute to this interdisciplinary effort by applying psychological insights to designing strategies and interventions for health promotion and disease prevention.
- Marieke Adriaanse
Description of topic
This research line is part of the living lab of the University’s Population Health interdisciplinary program, located at the LUMC Campus The Hague, where the Leiden University Medical Center collaborates with the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, as well as the Faculty of Science (Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS)) on the topic of Population Health. We contribute to this interdisciplinary effort by applying psychological insights to designing strategies and interventions for health promotion and disease prevention.
When trying to improve population health, insight into the contextual and psychological mechanisms driving (un)healthy behavior is necessary to develop effective strategies and interventions that effectively promote healthy behavior. Yet, human behavior is not only the product of, but also shapes, our social and physical environment, including the behavior of other people around us, and the policies and innovations that are adopted and implemented. Building effective behavior change interventions is therefore dependent on an understanding of the relevant context and the complex interplay between processes that shape and result from human behavior and decision making.
Additionally, in order to make sure that we address the right questions in the right population and integrate relevant information and perspectives early on, input is required from stakeholders and partners in the region (e.g., health care providers, patients and citizens in The Hague and Leiden) and associated disciplines need to be involved from the beginning. To be effective in our efforts to promote population health, a structural collaboration is therefore needed between health psychologists and care providers, the medical sciences, public health, data science, as well as governance. This structural collaboration is realized at the Population health living lab.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that healthcare will become unaffordable in the future partly due to the increasing number of people with chronic diseases. One of the solutions for this future problem is to focus on prevention and to encourage people to lead a healthier lifestyle. The psychologists from the department of Health Medical and Neuropsychology involved in the Population Health living lab contribute to this issue by applying behavioral insights to designing and testing behavioral interventions related to changes in lifestyle. In addition, we also apply behavioral insights in interventions designed to support health care professionals in their attempts to motivate and support their patients in adopting a healthy lifestyle.
A central aim within the Population Health living lab is to reduce health inequalities. Currently, in the Netherlands, people with low socio-economic status live 15 years less in good health and die 6 years sooner than people with high socio-economic status. Unfortunately, existing interventions and strategies to promote health often increase rather than decrease existing social economically health differences between groups, as they are mainly effective for people with a higher social economic status and a better health to begin with (so-called intervention-generated inequalities). We aim to address this issue of increasing health inequalities by applying insights from social and health psychology to design and implement health-related interventions that people from vulnerable groups also profit from.
Pillar: Fundamental research
Pillar: Diagnostics and treatment
Pillar: Evaluation and implementation
Topic: Itch and pain
Topic: Music and health
Topic: Novelty and enrichment
Topic: Patient communication
Topic: Persistent physical symptoms
Topic: Population health
Topic: Spatial thinking
Topic: Work and health