prof. Julia van Weert (director)

  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
    CW : Persuasive Communication
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht  166
    1018 WV  Amsterdam
  • T:  0205252091

Name: Julia C. M. van Weert
PhD: 2004, Utrecht University
MSc: 1996, University of Amsterdam, Cum Laude
Interests: I am a professor of Health Communication. My research focuses on effective health communication, in particular for groups at risk such as older patients, people with limited health literacy and migrants. We study (vulnerable) patients’ information and communication needs, information processing and effects of theory- and evidence-based health interventions. I am very interested in the added value of new media strategies in health communication, such as eHealth and mHealth. I focus both on traditional and on novel, artificial intelligence based tools and I am specifically interested in the interplay between mediated communication (e.g., the use of digital tools) and patient-provider communication. This concerns for instance our understanding of how information on a website should be presented to (older) patients but also the effects of exposure to health communication technologies (e.g. a patient portal, a pre-visit website or a virtual coach) on communication during consultation. A major aim is to unravel the complicated dynamics between digital information provision and patients’ cognitive, emotional, communication and health outcomes. I have a special interest in effective communication with older patients and was awarded a personal grant by the Dutch Cancer Society to develop the research line ‘OncoCommunicAging (OCA)’ on communication with older cancer patients. Ultimately, my research aims to establish evidence- and theory-based guidance for the development of optimal patient education for older patients.

Link: UvA profile


Tailoring and Ageing:

OncoCommunicAging (OCA): Communication with older cancer patients (OCA studies with Eugène Loos and AMC/Hanneke de Haes & Ellen Smets):

  • OCA-1:  Effective ways of presenting online information to older cancer patients (Nadine Bol, PhD-student)
  • OCA-2: Tailoring information to older cancer patients: Effects of using web-based provider- and patient-directed tools (Sifra Bolle, PhD student), including the systematic development of the web-based patient-directed tool ‘Patient Navigator’ (Geke Romijn, Romy Koopsen)
  • OCA-3: National survey on chemotherapy knowledge (Sifra Bolle, Christin Scholz)
  • OCA-4: How to effectively tailor website information to older patients’ mode preferences: A randomized Controlled Trial (Minh Hao Nguyen, PhD student with AMC/Kristien Tytgat & Anthony v.d. Ven)
  • OCA-5: Recommendations for ‘offline’ and ‘online’ tailored information for older cancer patients and their caregivers (with Nadine Bol & Annemiek Linn).
  • OCA-6: The Health Communicator: systematic development of a digital tool to bridge language and cultutral barriers of older patients and their healthcare provider (with Hande Sungur, Gizem Yilmaz & Barbara Schouten and Radboud University & Pharos/Maria van den Muijsenbergh)
  • Decision support tools for older patients (with Remco Sanders and Sydney University/Jesse Jansen; AMC/Barbara van Munster; Dutch Cochrane Center/Lotty Hooft & René Spijker)
  • Optimizing decision support tools for older cancer patients (with Gizem Yilmaz, Yumin Lin and VUmc/Olga Damman & Daniëlle Timmermans)
  • VOICE: Communication with older cancer patients preceding chemotherapy (with NIVEL/Sandra van Dulmen & Jozien Bensing and Sydney University/Jesse Jansen) ( This project is currently extended with the systematic development and implementation of  the web-based patient-directed tool ‘PatientVOICE’ (with NIVEL/ Sandra van Dulmen, Janneke Noordman & Jeanine Driesenaar).
  • Developing and testing an evidence based intervention to improve shared decision making in older persons with multiple chronic conditions (with AMC/Ruth Pel-Littel & Bianca Buurman & Gerben te Riet and University of Applied Sciences/Wilma Scholte op Reimer and Vilans/Ruth Pel-Littel & Mirella Minkman).
  • Big Data for the joint management of medication-related falls for senior citizens (SNOWDROP; NWO-funded/COMMIT2DATA–DATA2PERSON with Leonie Westerbeek & Gert-Jan de Bruijn) and for geriatric outpatient clinics in the project Alerting on adverse Drug reactions: Falls prevention Improvement through developing a Computerized clinical support system: Effectiveness of Individualized medication withdrawal (ADFICE_IT; ZonMW-funded with Kim Ploegmakers, Kelly de Wildt and Annemiek Linn), in collaboration with the Depts. of Medical Informatics (Ameen Abu-Hanna, Stephanie Medlock, Martijn Schut) and Geriatrics (Nathalie van der Velde) of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam.

Other studies:

  • Designing digital health information in a health literacy context (with Corine Meppelink and Edith Smit)
  • Tailoring information to Turkish patients in general practice: Intercultural medical communication (with Sanne Schinkel, Barbara Schouten & Bas v.d. Putte) and interpreter-mediated communication (with Rena Zendedel, PhD student, Barbara Schouten & Bas v.d. Putte)


  • Program group director of Persuasive Communication
  • Director of Amsterdam Center of Health Communication (ACHC)
  • Leader of OncoCommunicAging research line