During my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, I gained experience in research practices in the faculty of pharmacy, chemistry, medicine, biology, and veterinary medicine. Next, during the two year Prestige Research Master’s program in Neuroscience and Cognition, I investigated gene-environment interactions in mice through both behavioural experiments and DNA sampling methods at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. Also, I ran EEG experiments on social error detection in healthy subjects at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. For my thesis, I did a literature study on brain imaging results both before and after interventions for anxiety disorders.
Subsequently, my interest grew in how patients cope with disease, and I finished my second master’s degree in Clinical and Health Psychology. After that I started the PhD-project ‘Fitter na kanker’ at the Helen Dowling Institute and University of Twente. See www.fitternakanker.nlwww.fitternakanker.nl
In June 2012 I started my PhD project at the Helen Dowling Institute, which is a mental healthcare facility for cancer patients. There, I quantitatively investigated the effectiveness of two eHealth interventions for chronic cancer-related fatigue, as well as investigating working mechanisms using latent growth curve modelling. With Rens his help, I got acquainted with the abstract statistics, and discovered fun in doing statistics. During this project I also did semi-structured interviews with the participants and investigated qualitatively how these interventions attuned to the patients’ needs. Combining both quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods is very rewarding, as I have the idea I am getting grip on this complex matter. I enjoy working together with Rens due to his enthusiasm and his open mindedness for different backgrounds. He bridges the gap between plain statistics and ‘soft’ data collected with questionnaires. He helped me develop a critical mind, asks me the right questions to develop ethical research practices, and is inspiring in analysing thoroughly.
Fitter na kanker is sponsored by the Alpe d'Huzes/KWF foundation.