Yearly, 1.400 children are admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of Erasmus MC Sophia. PICU admission is a very stressful experience for children and their parents/caregivers: uncertainty of the child's clinical status and future prospects, noise and lights in the ward, and parental role changes are major parental stressors. My research line is embedded in the PICU’s research line Follow-up and focuses on evidence-based interventions that empower parents of critically ill children during and after PICU stay to ensure the best possible development of the child after a PICU admission. This is of societal impact in view of the consequences for the child’s social participation and life course opportunities.
I graduated cum laude in cognitive psychology at Leiden University in 2004 and was admitted to a Ph.D. program of the Erasmus MC department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology in 2009. My doctoral research, an RCT on the influence of an exercise program on mental health and quality of life in children with congenital heart disease, was conducted in cooperation with the Pediatric Cardiology department. After obtaining my PhD in May 2014 I pursued my academic career as a post-doc and co-promotor in the department of Pediatric Intensive Care.