I received my academic training in epidemiology in the Netherlands at the EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research of the VU University in Amsterdam, working in a programme of research on the diagnosis, prognosis and management of musculoskeletal disorders. I obtained a PhD in 1997 (on the prognosis and management of shoulder disorders in primary care), and continued to work at the EMGO+ Institute as a lecturer and senior lecturer. In 2006 I took up a joint appointment in Amsterdam and Keele, with the aim to build on my international experience and develop an international programme of research across the two Centres. Since October 2009 I am fulltime appointed at Keele (as professor of primary care epidemiology) and have become part of the Centre’s executive management team.

Research and scholarship

I have been trained as an epidemiologist, which allowed me to lead studies using a range of methodologies, including systematic reviews, diagnostic and prognostic studies, and (cluster) randomised trials. My research focuses on musculoskeletal conditions, but have a strong interest in other common symptoms, such as fatigue, dizziness, headache and abdominal pain, and the impact of pain in people with other long-term conditions. I have a strong interest in research methods, and am involved in research exploring methods for diagnostic and prognosis research.

Other interests concern trial methodology and the methodology of systematic reviews of diagnostic, prognostic and intervention studies. Current studies include identification of ‘phenotypes’ of pain problems (different approaches to definition and classification of pain, as pain location or medical diagnosis may not always be the optimal approach); understanding prognosis and predictors of long-term health outcomes and response to treatment; optimising usefulness and application and of prognostic information in clinical care, including the development and evaluation of stratified care.


• Prognosis Research: concepts, methods, and clinical application

• Cohort studies and prognosis research (2nd year, Keele Medical School)

• Research Methods SSC (3rd year, Keele Medical School)

• Systematic reviews (workshops)

• Supervision of MSc and PhD students

Further information

  • Contact Editor (Epidemiology) for the European Journal of Pain (2014 - …)
  • Member of the Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy Editorial Team (2011 - …)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Diagnostic and Prognostic Research (2016 - ….)


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