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Research projects for students

The projects described below have the approval of the DienstenCentrum Onderwijs (DCO) of the Erasmus MC. Other topics in the field of clinical, neurobiological, forensic, or epidemiological psychiatry can be formulated after consultation with the head of the department of Psychiatry,

Prof. dr. W.J.G. Hoogendijk
Email      w.hoogendijk@erasmusmc.nl,

or the co-ordinator of the elective courses,

Dr. J.H.M. Tulen
Email      j.h.m.tulen@erasmusmc.nl.

For these projects, the student needs to fill in the ′Inschrijvingsformulier Keuzeonderzoek buiten het reguliere programma′

Research descriptions

Dot   Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and cognition in neuropsychiatric disorders

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Department Psychiatry Erasmus MC
Contact Mw. Dr. J.H.M. Tulen, psychophysiologist
Email     j.h.m.tulen@erasmusmc.nl
Phone     +31 (0)10-703 59 74
 
Advisors Dr. J.H.M. Tulen, psychophysiologist, department of Psychiatry
J. Castricum, PhD student, department of Neuroscience & Psychiatry
 
Contents/objective Cognitive disturbances are frequently observed in psychiatric disorders, but also in specific genetic disorders such as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Cognitive functioning is usually evaluated by performing neuropsychological tasks, but new techniques are emerging that allow us to more precisely determine the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying cognition. A non-invasive brain stimulation technique is used to study long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity and cortical inhibition: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). TMS induces an electric field in the brain, activating neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1), which will produce measurable Motor Evoked Potentials (MEP) in the hand. Different TMS paradigms are presently used to provide non-invasive indices of plasticity and cortical inhibition in many disorders of cognition. In our current ethical approved studies, cortical inhibition and plasticity in the cognitive and motor deficits in adults in two different patient populations, i.e. NF1 and major depressive disorder, are addressed.

The student will participate in all aspects of the study: defining a research question based upon recent literature, recruitment of participants, TMS-measurements, neuropsychological testing (i.e. IQ-test and motor skill task), data-collection from both healthy individuals and patients, data processing and data analysis. The student will write a research report and present the results at the department of Psychiatry. We are looking for an enthusiastic student who wants to gain a lot of experience in scientific research and obtain clinical experience in a multidisciplinary research group.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information.

Further reading:
  • Croarkin, P. E., Levinson, A. J., & Daskalakis, Z. J. (2011). Evidence for GABAergic inhibitory deficits in major depressive disorder. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35(3), 818-825.
  • Mainberger, F., Jung, N. H., Zenker, M., Wahlländer, U., Freudenberg, L., Langer, S., Berweck, S., Winkler, T., Straube, A., Heinen, F., Granström, S., Mautner., V., Lidzba, K., Mall, V., (2013). Lovastatin improves impaired synaptic plasticity and phasic alertness in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1. BMC neurology, 13(1), 131.


 

 

Dot   Etiology and course of aggressive behavior in combination with a psychiatric disorder.

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Department Psychiatry Erasmus MC  
Contact Email     f.vandenboogert@erasmusmc.nl
Phone     010 703 01 46
 
Prinicipal investigator Dr. S.J. Roza, department of Psychiatry  
Contents/objective Retrospective studies in adult forensic psychiatry showed that aggressive and antisocial behavior during childhood or adolescence are important prognostic factors for recurrent violent offenses in adulthood. Also, early school leaving, psychopathic traits, relational problems, substance abuse, and traumatic experiences are major risk factors for criminal behavior and recidivism. However, whether biological factors, such as hormone levels, genetics and neuropsychological measures can serve as diagnostic or prognostic markers, is still largely unknown. This project focuses primarily on the value of these biological risk factors in predicting onset and course of aggressive or violent offenses. Data will be collected within Transfore, an adult forensic psychiatric institution in the eastern part of The Netherlands, and in Erasmus MC′s The iBerry Study (www.iberrystudy.nl). The project is a collaboration between Erasmus MC, Transfore GGZ, and University of Twente.

For internships at The iBerry Study, please do not hesitate to contact the project staff via iberrystudy@erasmusmc.nl or 010 - 703 01 46. In the course of 2017, we will also be offering multiple research internship positions at the various locations of Transfore. In these extensive internships you will gain knowledge and expertise in both clinical and research skills. Please visit our site regularly for updates, or contact Frank van den Boogert (f.vandenboogert@erasmusmc.nl) if you have any questions regarding research internships or the project in general.

 

 

Dot   Master research project at the Bright Up study: light therapy for depression during pregnancy.

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Department Psychiatry Erasmus MC  
Contact Email     b.bais@erasmusmc.nl  
Background Depression during pregnancy is a common and high impact disease. Approximately 5-10% of pregnant women suffers from depression (1). Children who are exposed to maternal depression during pregnancy have a higher risk of adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight, and more often show cognitive, emotional and behavioural problems (2-5). Therefore, early detection and prompt treatment of depression during pregnancy can benefit both mother and child.
In non-pregnant women, guidelines propose psychotherapy, antidepressant medication or a combination of both as treatment for depression. However, clinical practice shows limited relevance of these guidelines during pregnancy, as the direct availability of psychotherapists is poor, postponing treatment for several months or more. In pregnancy, the window of opportunity is small and from the perspective of the child postponement is in fact non-treatment. Therefore, women with depression during pregnancy may be treated with antidepressants. In the Netherlands, 2-3% of pregnant women use antidepressant medication (6,7). However, the safety of these medications during pregnancy is controversial (8,9). Therefore, investigating non-pharmacological approaches to treating depression during pregnancy is urgent and relevant, for both mother and child. Bright light therapy is a promising treatment for pregnant women with depression based on several theoretical and clinical considerations. Primarily, we will study the effects of BLT on depressive symptoms. Second, we will study the effects on maternal circadian rhythm and hormonal levels. Finally, we will examine the effects in the infant.

Students will participate in all aspects of the study: participant selection, PR, data-collection from both the mothers and infants, data processing and data analysis. Students will write their own thesis and will present the results at the department of Psychiatry.
Since the data of the Bright Up study will not be available yet, Mind2Care data will be used for the thesis (a project on psychiatric and psychosocial problems and substance abuse during pregnancy). Therefore, an own research question may be drafted by the student.

Requirements:
  • Master student
  • Fluent Dutch speaking
  • Weekdays OV card
  • Proactive attitude
  • Organisational skills
  • Social skills
  • Responsible
  • Flexible
  • Able to work independently and in a team


More information about the study can be found at www.brightupstudie.nl. If you have any questions regarding this internship, please contact Babette Bais via b.bais@erasmusmc.nl. If you want to apply for the position, please send your CV and motivation letter.

References:
  • Gavin NI, Gaynes BN, Lohr KN, Meltzer-Brody S, Gartlehner G, Swinson T. Perinatal depression: a systematic review of prevalence and incidence. Obstet Gynecol. 2005;106:1071-83.
  • Field T. Prenatal depression effects on early development: a review. Infant Behav Dev. 2011;34:1-14.
  • Talge NM, Neal C, Glover V, the Early Stress, Translational Research and Prevention Science Network: Fetal and Neonatal Experience on Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Antenatal maternal stress and long-term effects on child neurodevelopment: how and why? J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2007;48:245-61.
  • Grote NK, Bridge JA, Gavin AR, Melville JL, Iyengar S, Katon WJ. A meta-analysis of depression during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth restriction. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67:1012-24.
  • Jarde A, Morais M, Kingston D, Giallo R, MacQueen GM, Giglia L, Beyene J, Wang Y, McDonald SD. Neonatal outcomes in women with untreated antenatal depression compared with women without depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016; doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0934:DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0934.
  • Ververs T, Kaasenbrood H, Visser G, Schobben F, de Jong-van den Berg L, Egberts T. Prevalence and patterns of antidepressant drug use during pregnancy. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2006;62:863-70.
  • Bakker MK, Kolling P, van den Berg PB, de Walle HE, de Jong van den Berg LT. Increase in use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy during the last decade, a population-based cohort study from the Netherlands. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2008;65:600-6.
  • Tuccori M, Testi A, Antonioli L, Fornai M, Montagnani S, Ghisu N, Colucci R, Corona T, Blandizzi C, Del Tacca M. Safety concerns associated with the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other serotonergic/noradrenergic antidepressants during pregnancy: a review. Clin Ther. 2009;31:1426-53.
  • Chaudron LH. Complex challenges in treating depression during pregnancy. Am J Psychiatry. 2013;170:12-20.

 

 

Dot   The Image_AL study - Imaging the neurodevelopmental consequences of intrauterine exposure to Antipsychotics and Lithium. (Master research project)

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Department Psychiatry Erasmus MC  
Contact Email     e.poels@erasmusmc.nl
Phone     010-703 23 49
 
Advisors Dr. S.J. Roza, department of Psychiatry
E.M.P. Poels, MD, PhD student, department of Psychiatry
 
Contents/objective Patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are usually treated with lithium and/or antipsychotics. Both medications are often continued during pregnancy as discontinuing may induce disease relapse. However, the consequences for the development of the child remain uncertain. Several studies have reported subtle consequences on pregnancy outcome and congenital malformations. However, much less is known about the long-term neurodevelopmental consequences of intrauterine exposure to lithium or antipsychotics. The Image_AL study will investigate effects of intrauterine exposure to lithium or antipsychotics in children of mothers who used these medications during pregnancy. The main objective is to investigate whether children exposed to lithium or antipsychotics in utero show structural or functional brain changes (MRI) compared to non-exposed children of the same age. As a secondary objective we will investigate whether exposed children have cognitive, emotional or behavioural problems compared to non-exposed children. Participants are children aged 8-14 years old and their parents. Data collection will start in January 2017.

Students will participate in all aspects of the study: participant selection, data-collection (MRI and neuropsychological testing) and data analysis. We expect students to examine their own research question within the Image_AL cohort and present the results at the department of Psychiatry.

Please do not hesitate to send an Email if you have any questions regarding this research internship (e.poels@erasmusmc.nl / 010-7032349). If you want to apply for the position please send your CV and motivation letter to e.poels@erasmusmc.nl.

References:
  • Freedman, R. (2003). "Schizophrenia." New England Journal of Medicine 349(18): 1738-1749.
  • Galbally, M., M. Snellen and J. Power (2014). "Antipsychotic drugs in pregnancy: a review of their maternal and fetal effects." Ther Adv Drug Saf 5(2): 100-109.
  • Geddes, J. R. and D. J. Miklowitz (2013). "Bipolar Disorder 3 Treatment of bipolar disorder." Lancet 381(9878): 1672-1682.
  • McKnight, R. F., M. Adida, K. Budge, S. Stockton, G. M. Goodwin and J. R. Geddes (2012). "Lithium toxicity profile: a systematic review and meta-analysis." Lancet 379(9817): 721-728.
  • Viguera, A. C., R. Nonacs, L. S. Cohen, L. Tondo, A. Murray and R. J. Baldessarini (2000). "Risk of recurrence of bipolar disorder in pregnant and nonpregnant women after discontinuing lithium maintenance." American Journal of Psychiatry 157(2): 179-184.

 

 

Dot   The iBerry Study - Interventions for Behavioral and Emotional Risk Reduction in Youth.

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Department Psychiatry Erasmus MC  
Contact Email     iberrystudy@erasmusmc.nl
Phone     010 703 01 46
 
Prinicipal investigator dr. S.J. Roza, department of Psychiatry  
Contents/objective The vast majority of psychiatric morbidity which manifests during adult life has its onset before the age of 25 years, either evolving from childhood emotional and behavioral disorder, or appearing from early adolescence through the mid-twenties. There is growing recognition that the need for care in psychiatry substantially precedes the point that a diagnosis can be assigned according to classical concepts, with negative effects on the treatability of disorders when we wait for perfect diagnostic clarity.

The iBerry Study (acronym: Interventions for Behavioral and Emotional Risk Reduction in Youth) is a new high-risk cohort study, designed to examine the long-term course of adolescent precursor symptoms of adult psychiatry and to study the effectiveness of a broad early intervention to prevent transition from sub-threshold symptomatology to full-blown psychiatric disorders. Adolescents at increased risk for psychopathology (n=1,000) or at low risk (N=350) are derived from the general population by screening on behavioral and emotional problems (SDQ-Y) in the first class of secondary school. Selected participants (aged 12-15) and their parents will be invited to the Erasmus MC where data will be collected with questionnaires (ASEBA, MSPSS, PQ-16, CTSPC, BSI, SAPAS-sr, FAD-12, OKIV), interviews (MINI-kid, mini SCAN), physical examination (blood draw for (epi)genetic measures, thyroid function, metabolism, cortisol from hair sample) and neuropsychological tests (SON-r 6-40, IOWA).

Students will participate in all aspects of the study: participant selection, data-collection from both the adolescents and the parents, data processing and data analysis. Students will write their own thesis (based on a self-proposed research question) and will present the results at the department of Psychiatry.


We offer an extensive internship where you will gain a lot of experience in both clinical and research skills. We are looking for enthusiastic students who can work both independently and in a team. Any relevant experience and venipuncture qualification is a plus.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding this research internship! (iberrystudy@erasmusmc.nl / 010 703 01 46 or find us at www.iberrystudy.nl) If you want to apply for the position please send your CV and motivation letter to iberrystudy@erasmusmc.nl.

References:
  • Hosman, C., Jane-Llopes, E., & Saxena, S. (2004). Prevention of mental disorders: effective interventions and policy options. Genève: WHO.
  • Kim-Cohen, J., Caspi, A., Moffit, T.E., Harrington, H., Milne, B.J., & Poulton, R. (2003). Prior juvenile diagnoses in adults with mental disorder developmental follow-back of a prospective-longitudinal cohort. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 709-717.
  • Lasalvia, A., & Tansella, M. (2012). Young people at high risk for psychosis: conceptual framework, research evidence and treatment opportunities. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 21, 317-322.
  • Paus, T., Keshavan, M., & Giedd, J.N. (2008). Why do many psychiatric disorders emerge during adolescence? Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9, 947-957.
  • Sellers, R., Collishaw, S., Rice, F., Thapar, A.K., Potter, R., Mars, B., Harold, G.T., Smith, D.J., Owen, M.J., Craddock, N., & Thapar, A. (2013). Risk of psychopathology in adolescent offspring of mothers with psychopathology and recurrent depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 202, 108-114.

 

 

Dot   Lithium maintenance treatment in elderly with bipolar disorder.

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Department Erasmus MC Psychiatry; Parnassia Groep  
Contact dr. RM Kok, psychiatrist Parnassia Groep, research coordinator.
Email     r.kok@parnassia.nl
 
Co-investicators - W. Soebhag, psychiatrist, Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Bavo-Europoort, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Primary investigator.
- F. Oostervink , psychiatrist, Department of Old Age Psychiatry, GGZ Haagstreek (Rivierduinen), Leidschendam, The Netherlands.
- I. Groeneweg, psychiatrist, Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Bavo- Europoort, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
 
Contents/objective Bipolar disorder is a chronic and severe condition characterized by manic/hypomanic, mixed, and depressive episodes. It is not only an illness of younger adults, but also of the elderly. (Oosterfink, Nolen & Kok, 2014) . Because of the severity of the symptoms, treatment is very important. Lithium is a well-known mood stabilizer for maintenance and acute treatment of bipolar disorder. In younger adults the lithium level for maintenance treatment is between 0.6 -0.8 mmol/l. These limits are controversial in the elderly. For example Sajatovic and Blow (2007) state in their influential book: “To reduce potential side effects and toxicities, clinicians should target moderate plasma concentration ranges 0.4-0.8 mmol/l; however higher concentrations may be necessary.” The authors did not mention if these levels are for maintenance or acute treatment. A literature search revealed a lack of studies comparing these lower with more conventional serum levels. Therefore, in this study our aim is to compare the effectivity of lithium in the range < 0.6 mmol/l with ≥ 0.6 mmol/l.

Our hospital has medical records of 400 elderly patients with a bipolar disorder, using lithium in the past 4 years. The student is expected to collect data about lithium efficacy from the EPD (electronic patient record) and specify his/her question based on a literature study. The student is also expected to write a research report and provide a verbal presentation of the findings at the department of Psychiatry. To get a good understanding of the pathology that is found in the clinic, it is possible to participate in an outpatient or inpatient clinic with a focus on bipolar patients.

References:
  • Oostervink, F., Nolen, W. A., & Kok, R. M. (2014). Two years′ outcome of acute mania in bipolar disorder: different effects of age and age of onset. International journal of geriatric psychiatry.
  • Sajatovic, M., & Blow, F. C. (Eds.). (2007). Bipolar disorder in later life. JHU Press.

 

 

   Master research project: “Food, microbiota and mood disorders”.

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Department Erasmus MC Psychiatry; PsyQ, Mood disorders  
Contact Dr. A.T. Spijker
Email     a.spijker@psyq.nl
 
Advisors Prof.dr. W. Hoogendijk, department of Psychiatry
Dr. E.J. Giltay, LUMC
Dr. M. Molendijk, FSW Leiden University
Prof.dr. Peppelenbosch, Erasmus MC
 
Contents/objective In the outpatient treatment program for bipolar disorders in PsyQ Rotterdam, we aim to start with the BINCO study, a new cohort study in patients with bipolar disorder. In this study, the main research question is to identify biological differences between acute episodes and stable periods, and the relation with the course of the disease.
One of the topics is the relation between unhealthy life styles and the risk on mood episodes. Mood disorders are a known risk factor for unhealthy life styles, such as dietary intake patterns, which in turn might negatively influence the course of a mood disorder. In the pathophysiology of mood disorders, changes in inflammatory factors and a dysregulation of the stress respons are thought to influence the prognosis. It is thought that this might be mediated by the gastrointestinal microbiome, influencing mood by regulating the gutbrain axis. However, evidence is limited and literature is scarce.
For this master research project, one of the questions concerns the relation between food intake and mood stability. The student is supposed to summarize and evaluate the current literature and hence formulate a research question in the area of the relation between dietary intake patterns, microbiota and mood episodes. Second, to be able to answer the research question, the student will collect data in patients with bipolar disorder, analyse these data and discuss the results.


Student tasks include:
  • Writing an overview of the literature on this topic
  • Patient interviews and questionnaires on the outpatient department for bipolar disorders of PsyQ (Max Euwelaan 70, Rotterdam), and possibly on the admission ward of Bavo Europoort GGZ; for the BINCO study
  • Blood collection at baseline of the BINCO study
  • Data analysis

References:
  • Rakofsky, J.J., Dunlop, B.W., 2014. Review of nutritional supplements for the treatment of bipolar depression. Depression and Anxiety 31, 379-390.
  • Foster JA, McVey Neufeld KA, 2013. Gut-brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression. Trends Neurosci. 2013 May;36(5):305-12.

 

 

   Quality of care in hospital psychiatry.

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Department Psychiatry  
Contact M. A. (Maarten) van Schijndel MD, psychiatrist / project leader
Phone      +31(10)7040139 (secretariat)
Email     mpu.studygroup@erasmusmc.nl
 
Advisors Prof. J.J. van Busschbach PhD, Department of Psychiatry (section Medical
Psychology and Psychotherapy), Principle Investigator / Professor of Health Related Quality of Life
A. Boenink, MD PhD, psychiatrist, VU medical center
RJ Osse MD PhD, psychiatrist, Erasmus MC
J.L. Lijmer, MD PhD, psychiatrist and epidemiologist, OLVG
J. van Waarde, MD PhD, psychiatrist, Rijnstate
P.J. Caarls, MSc, PhD student
Contents/objective The MPU study group is recruiting two master students who are interested in doing their research internship about a feasibility study on a new quality standard on hospital psychiatry.
An estimated 25-40% of the medically ill patients admitted to a hospital have a co-morbid psychiatric disorder. Numerous studies now demonstrate that patients who have both general medical and psychiatric disorders, have greater morbidity associated with their medical illness, increased health care service use, and worse functional outcomes.
In order to improve care for patients with concurrent medical and psychiatric disorders, we are currently developing a quality standard on hospital psychiatry. The quality standard covers both outpatient care, care delivered by psychiatric consultation-liaison services and care in Medical Psychiatric Units.

From April – June 2016 we will test the feasibility of the new quality standard including the indicators in four hospitals: OLVG and VUMC (both in Amsterdam), Rijnstate (Arnhem) and the Erasmus MC. Your master research preferably starts with preparation and planning in January 2016, from April –June data will be collected at the four locations and in July-August you will analyze the data and write your thesis.
Your research can answer questions on acceptability, implementation or effects of the quality standard and the indicators. We will discuss the specific appropriate research question with each student.
You will get insight in hospital psychiatry in different teaching hospitals and will work together with a variety of care professionals. If you are an enthusiast future colleague interested in clinical research and healthcare organization, please sent your motivation letter and CV to mpu.studygroup@erasmusmc.nl.
Requirements: master student in medicine, health sciences, health policy or healthcare management, fluent Dutch speaking and weekdays OV card.
References for more background reading:
 

 

   Screening on psychopathology in adolescents; the iBerry study.

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Department Psychiatry  
Contact Drs. S.F.L.M. van Jaarsveld, PhD student
Phone      +31 (0)10-7033227
Email     s.vanjaarsveld@erasmusmc.nl
 
Advisors Dr. S.J. Roza, department of Psychiatry
S.F.L.M. van Jaarsveld, PhD student, department of Psychiatry
 
Contents/objective The vast majority of psychiatric morbidity which manifests during adult life has its onset before the age of 25 years, either evolving from childhood emotional and behavioral disorder, or appearing from early adolescence through the mid-twenties. There is growing recognition that the need for care in psychiatry substantially precedes the point that a diagnosis can be assigned according to classical concepts, with negative effects on the treatability of disorders when we wait for perfect diagnostic clarity.
The iBerry Study (acronym: Interventions for Behavioral and Emotional Risk Reduction in Youth) is a new high-risk cohort study, designed to examine the long-term course of adolescent precursor symptoms of adult psychiatry and to study the effectiveness of a broad early intervention to prevent transition from sub-threshold symptomatology to full-blown psychiatric disorders. Adolescents at increased risk for psychopathology (n=1,000) or at low risk (N=350) are derived from the general population by screening on behavioral and emotional problems in the first class of secondary school. Screening takes place at the ‘Centrum Jeugd & Gezin Rijnmond’ in close collaboration with the Erasmus MC - Department of Psychiatry.
Students will be involved in participant selection, screening, and data analysis. We expect the students to examine their own research question within the iBerry cohort, to write a research report and to provide a verbal presentation of the findings at the department of Psychiatry.

References for more background reading:
  • Hosman, C., Jane-Llopes, E., & Saxena, S. (2004). Prevention of mental disorders: effective interventions and policy options. Genève: WHO.
  • Kim-Cohen, J., Caspi, A., Moffit, T.E., Harrington, H., Milne, B.J., & Poulton, R. (2003). Prior juvenile diagnoses in adults with mental disorder developmental follow-back of a prospective-longitudinal cohort. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 709-717.
  • Lasalvia, A., & Tansella, M. (2012). Young people at high risk for psychosis: conceptual framework, research evidence and treatment opportunities. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 21, 317-322.
  • Paus, T., Keshavan, M., & Giedd, J.N. (2008). Why do many psychiatric disorders emerge during adolescence? Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9, 947-957.
  • Sellers, R., Collishaw, S., Rice, F., Thapar, A.K., Potter, R., Mars, B., Harold, G.T., Smith, D.J., Owen, M.J., Craddock, N., & Thapar, A. (2013). Risk of psychopathology in adolescent offspring of mothers with psychopathology and recurrent depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 202, 108-114.

 

 

   Psychomotor functioning and Electroconvulsive therapy.

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Department Psychiatry  
Contact Dr. W.W. van den Broek, psychiatrist
Phone      +31 (0)10-7033207

Mw. dr. J.H.M. Tulen, psychophysiologist

Dr. T.K. Birkenhäger, psychiatrist
Email     w.w.vandenbroek@erasmusmc.nl
 
Advisors Dr. W.W. van den Broek, psychiatrist
Mw. dr. J.H.M. Tulen, psychophysiologist
Dr. T.K. Birkenhäger, psychiatrist
 
Contents/objective Psychomotor dysfunction in depressed patients is characterized by psychomotor retardation and agitation.
These important clinical features of depression may be reflected in alterations of the spontaneous 24-hour pattern of motor activity, as measured by means of wrist-actigraphy. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of ECT on psychomotor function in severely depressed inpatients with a major depressive disorder.
To assess spontaneous 24-hour motor activity patterns, the patients wore a wrist-actigraph continuously during 4 days and nights, during a drug-free period and after ECT. Additionally, the patients also recorded in a daily log the instances of actigraphy removal, the estimated time of sleep onset and estimated time of final awakening in the morning.
By means of this approach, the relevance of psychomotor dysfunction in relation to the clinical efficacy of ECT can be evaluated.
 

 

   Violence in patients with severe mental illness.

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Department Psychiatry  
Contact Dr. A.M. Kamperman, post-doc researcher,
Email     a.kamperman@erasmusmc.nl
Phone      010-7034763

Advisor:
Prof. Dr. C. Mulder, psychiatrist
Dr. S.R. Roza, psychiatrist
 
Description Study objective:
The ViPP-study assessed rates of violent victimization and risk factors in patients with severe mental illness (SMI). In six psychiatric hospitals (InGeest, Parnassia, BavoEuropoort, GGZ Dijk en Duin, Mondriaan, Altrecht) we collected data of almost 1000 patients with severe mental illness (depression, bipolar disorder and psychotic disorder). Data are available about experiences and consequences of victimisation, discrimination and self-stigmatization, perpetration of violence, childhood trauma, symptom severity and co-morbid psychopathology (e.g. anger, PTSD).

Student tasks:

•  Formulating a relevant research question

•  Writing a research proposal

•  Analysing data

•  Reporting of the findings

•  Oral presentation of the findings at the department of Psychiatry


We offer:

•  An interesting research topic

•  Student’s preferences can influence the research topic

•  Structured and good support of a post-doc researcher

•  Possibility to participate in research meetings of the department

•  Clinical experience on the psychiatric department


Literature:
Teplin, et al (2005). Crime Victimization in Adults with Severe Mental Illness. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 911-921.

See also: ′Geweld tegen Psychiatrische Patiënten′http://www.nwo.nl/onderzoek-en-resultaten/cases/geweld-tegen-psychiatrische-patienten.html
 

 

   Follow-up of postpartum psychosis.

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Department Psychiatry  
Contact Drs. K.M. Burgerhout, arts-onderzoeker
Phone      010-7035978
Email     k.burgerhout@erasmusmc.nl
Advisors Drs. K.M. Burgerhout, MD, PhD student,
Drs. V. Bergink, psychiatrist,
Prof. Dr. S.A. Kushner, psychiatrist
Description Study objective:
Postpartum psychosis is a rare and severe disorder. (1-2 out of 1000 deliveries) The Department of Psychiatry at the ErasmusMC has a specialised unit for women with postpartum psychiatric disorders.

Since 2005 the PPP study was started. This project focuses on risk factors, genetics, immunology and clinical course. Women have been extensively studied during their hospitalisation and followed by interviews, questionnaires and blood tests. Follow-up moments are 9 months postpartum and 4 years postpartum. As control group we use both healthy women postpartum and women with postpartum depression.

Several sub-topics are possible, topics we planned to study are: Clinical course of postpartum psychosis and progression to bipolar disorder. Relapse prevention of postpartum psychosis and depression. The immune activation in women with postpartum psychosis and depression. After introduction and discussion with the student, there will be decided which sub-topic the student will investigate.

Student tasks:

•  Writing a research proposal

•  Literature review

•  Helping collecting blood of healthy controls in het ′Geboortecentrum′

•  Contacting the women on the outpatient unit with a postpartum depression and blood withdrawal of these women

•  Collecting blood and questionnaires of women four years after a postpartum depression

•  Helping on the mother-baby unit with collecting questionnaires of the hospitalised women

•  Analysing data

•  Reporting of the findings

•  Oral presentation of the findings at the department of Psychiatry

 

 

Research paper opportunities Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy

The section of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy is a part of the department of psychiatry of the Erasmus MC, and participates in the NIHES program. There are often opportunities to join existing research efforts to guaranty you with data and a relevant research question. As your research paper will be of interest for the research group, you tutor will have an intrinsic motivation to guide your through the investigation and the writing of the paper. You will have easy access to data and literature, and you will be introduced into a scientific network, instead of trying to establish a network on your one.

Given that some of the data is in Dutch, or that the data collection requires Dutch language skills, the research is limited to those who have sufficient language skills.

If you are interested in one of the subjects below, you can contact Annemerle Beerthuizen of the section Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, who will help you to establish any cooperation.

Annemerle Beerthuizen, PhD
Room Na2011
Email  a.beerthuizen@erasmusmc.nl
Phone   010 704 42 34

 

Subjects

   MdClip

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MdClip are glasses for patient in the end phase of macular degeneration. We conducted a ‘waiting list RTC’. Sufficient data is already available, therewhile is the opportunity to help with the final data collection. Limited Dutch language skills are helpful, but not necessary. The contact person is Martijn Visser.

 

  Norm data of the WHOQOL questionnaire in Indonesia

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We collected about 1000 WHOQOL quality of life questionnaire examinations in a representative sample of the Indonesian population. About 200 filled in the questionnaire twice, a measure test-rest reliability. A paper can be written about the norm scores and test-retest of the WHOQOL in Indonesia.

Other research questions on the basis of this data set might be the relation between back ground variables and the scores on the WHOQOL.

Dutch or Bahasa Indonesia language skills are not required. Contact person is Jan van Busschbach.

 

  Quality of life and rheumatology

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Together with the Department of Rheumatology we collected a substitutional dataset of quality of life questionnaire responses that can be correlated with physiological disease variables. Limited Dutch language skills are helpful, but not necessary. Contact person is Adriaan van ‘t Spijker.

 

  Shared decision making in the quality of a transplanted kidney

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The quality of the available post mortem kidney varies. We invested whether kidney patient are willing to participate in the trade-off between accepting the quality of the kidney now, or waiting longer for a better one. Data collection using focus group interview and questionnaires is part of the job. Therefore, good Dutch language skills are required. Contact person is Sohal Ismail.

 

  The valuation of the EQ-5D breast reconstruction bolt-on questionnaire

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The quality of life questionnaire EQ-5D is not tailored for breast reconstruction after breast cancer. We developed a EQ-5D with two ′breast reconstruction specific dimensions′ bolt-on to the original questionnaire. The questionnaire has to be ′valuated′ by a large sample of the general public, using a special, compute supported interview technique. Data collection using this computer supported interview is part of the job. Therefore, good Dutch language skills are required. Contact person is Jan van Busschbach.

 

  Qualitative research in the added value of ‘co-patients’

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The Erasmus MC has recently introduced ′co-patients′. These are voluntary ′buddies′ for ′real′ patients, to help these real patients trough there disease process. In this investigation we try to describe the satisfaction of both patients and doctors for this initiative. Moreover, we will test the safety of the initiative. Data collection using focus group interview and questionnaires is part of the job. Therefore, good Dutch language skills are required. Contact person is Cora de Klerk.

 

  The need and effect on quality of life of invasive treatment with small life prolonging effects in patients with end stage cancer

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Together with the Department of Hematology we will investigate the decision making process of patients with end stage cancer, when confronted with the option for an invasive treatment with small life prolonging effects. Data collection using focus group interview and questionnaires is part of the job. Therefore, good Dutch language skills are required. Contact person is Cora de Klerk.

 

  Norm scores for the EQ-5D-5L

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The EQ-5D is the most used health related quality of life questionnaire for health economics. There is already a Dutch ′value-set′ for the EQ-5D-5L quality of life questionnaire, but not yet a norm score of the general population. These values have to collected by internet or by interviews. Good Dutch language skills are required. Contact person is Jan van Busschbach.

 

  Establish the reliability of the EQ-5D-5L

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The EQ-5D is the most used health related quality of life questionnaire for health economics. There is already a Dutch ′value-set′ for the EQ-5D-5L quality of life questionnaire, but the test-retest reliability in patients is yet unknown. These values have to be collected by internet or by interviews in several patients groups. Good Dutch language skills are required. Contact person is Jan van Busschbach.

 

  Long term effects of clinical psychotherapy

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Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) is an intensive psychotherapy among which personality disorders (PDs). Over the past 10 years we developed and tested a 6-month residential version (R-ISTDP) of this otherwise outpatient therapy for patient with severe PD. This study investigates the long-term outcome of R-ISTDP and possible predictors of outcome. The data is already collected and some analysis have been done. Dutch language skills are not required. Contact person is Jan van Busschbach.