I am a member of the PROFILES research team since 2009. In the first years (home base Tilburg University and Comprehensive Cancer Centre The Netherlands), my research focused on the information provision to different groups of cancer survivors. Information provision is one of the most important aspects of supportive cancer care. Appropriate information provision can result in better quality of life and lower levels of depression and anxiety. Patients who are well informed can participate actively in treatment decision making and have a better sense of control. With the results of this study several initiatives were started to improve the information provision to cancer survivors and make it more personalized.
One of my other studies focused on the quality of life of thyroid cancer survivors. Thyroid cancer survivors (2-20 years after diagnosis) had lower scores on mental and physical quality of life compared to the normative population with the same sex and age distribution. Disease-specific problems were strongly associated with quality of life. Awareness of these specific determinants of quality of life could help health care practitioners to provide better supportive care by informing survivors about the long-term problems, showing them how to manage uncomfortable symptoms and by referring them for further services when necessary (for example physical activity programs or support groups).
In 2015 I received a fellowship grant from the Dutch Cancer Society to conduct research (home base Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen) into the physical and psychosocial problems and care needs of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer. I am also involved in several projects focusing on the quality of life of people with sarcoma.