A healthy lifestyle – a healthy diet and regular physical activity – significantly contributes to the prevention of chronic diseases. People with lower socioeconomic position (SEP) often have unhealthier lifestyles compared to those with higher SEP. However, interventions aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle often struggle to reach the lower SEP population and may even […]

‘Be Prepared’ (Behavioural Science for Pandemic Preparedeness) is a collaboration between the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and four Dutch Universities: University of Amsterdam, Radboud University, Utrecht University and University of Twente. Researchers from ACHC and ASCoR (Julia van Weert, Bas van den Putte, Eline Smit, Saar Mollen, Mark Boukes, Toni […]

This PhD project focuses on the relationship between exposure to specific persuasive health communication and mental well-being. More specifically, our aim is to explore the relationship between exposure to specific message characteristics (like fear or conflicting information) and subsequent mental well-being and the role of mental well-being before exposure to a specific message in its […]

Regular physical activity (PA) reduces the risks of multiple health problems among all age groups, also when health problems are already present. This Active4Life project aims to generate new scientific and practical knowledge and insights relevant to stimulate and maintain PA in different subpopulations of adults (adults, older adults, healthy and patient populations) using tailored […]

Digitalisation of society has led to the creation of artificial conversational agents with which humans can communicate about a myriad of topics, including health. Chatbots are a popular example of conversational agents and, in essence, they are computer programs with humanlike communicative skills. They rely on dialog systems that process textual input known as Natural Language Processing […]

Many adolescents and young adults consume a lot of alcohol, which is related to serious negative consequences for both youth and society. A recent development is that young people nowadays place a lot of posts about this alcohol use on Social Networking Sites (SNS), such as Facebook and Instagram. Alarmingly, most of these messages show […]

This PhD project focuses on gaining a better understanding of aspects that determine the effectiveness of interpersonal communication about alcohol and binge drinking. The overarching goal is to explore how interpersonal communication can be used to improve anti-alcohol and binge drinking interventions targeted at late adolescents (17-19 years old). We examine aspects such as: conversational […]

Low-educated adolescents with learning difficulties drink and smoke more than other adolescents. How can this target group be effectively educated about alcohol and tobacco? In this project, this is studied among 12-15 year old adolescents who follow schools for special education or adolescents at pre-vocational schools who receive special attention. Seven experiments are performed that […]

Opinions differ on whether it is wise or foolish to have recovered addicts inform adolescents about the risk of use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs (ATOD). Some think that this will deter adolescents from using ATOD; in contrast, others think that this might stimulate experimental use. On the one hand, by informing adolescents in a […]

The Netherlands and more than 170 other countries have ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC includes legally binding international rules on topics such as tobacco marketing, pricing policies, health warning labels, education, and smoke-free legislation. The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project  (ITC project) is specifically designed to evaluate the impact […]

Extant research shows that interpersonal communication between people has more influence than professional health communication. This project aims at increasing insight into how people communicate about health-related behaviors and how this influences health behavior. In addition, interpersonal communication can both strengthen and weaken the effects of professional health communication (e.g., campaigns). More knowledge on the […]

An unhealthy lifestyle is the main cause of chronic diseases, resulting in reduced quality of life and preventable healthcare costs. As budgets for healthcare become increasingly limited, low-cost lifestyle improvement strategies are needed. A strategy proven to be (cost-)effective is online individually tailored health communication. To date, tailoring entailed adjusting what information was provided, but […]

Tobacco smoking is the most prevalent cause of preventable non communicable diseases, like cancer. Many Dutch smokers therefore attempt to quit smoking, but only 4-10% of these quit attempts are successful. Evidence-based smoking cessation support tools, such as pharmacotherapy, counseling and online interventions, have been shown to double the chance of successful quitting. However, Dutch […]

Tobacco smoking is the most prevalent cause of preventable non communicable diseases, like cancer. Online computer-tailored interventions have already shown to be (cost-)effective in improving smoking cessation, over and above more static health communication, but effect sizes remain small. The large majority of the tailored interventions developed and tested so far only tailor the content […]

Within this project, we investigate the long-term impact of asthma patients’ self-management behaviors on their health outcomes, as well as several modifiable factors that may influence how patients self-manage their asthma. We have conducted a cohort study in France and the United Kingdom that follows up patients (adults and children) for up to 2 years […]

In 2016, all EU member states will start using pictorial warning labels on cigarette packages. This means that cigarette packages will not only contain verbal warnings such as: “smoking kills”, but that this text will be accompanied by a picture of a dead body, for instance. There is quite some debate among scientists on whether […]

People are continuously exposed to risk information from public health organizations, such as information about cancer risk and obesity risk. Research has demonstrated that these communication strategies can be effective, but there are also instances in which exposure to risk communication has adverse effects, such as message rejection, denial of risk, and drop-out from prevention […]

Nonexperimental research has shown that instrumental attitudes (what do I think about the behaviour), affective attitudes (what do I feel about the behaviour), and self-regulation variables (when and how should I do the behaviour) are important predictors of health behaviour (such as physical inactivity) and non-health related (such as curbside recycling) behaviours. The aim of […]