An online ethnographic study of social media use among people with rheumatic conditions

This PhD  studies how social media influence the lived experience and meaning making processes of chronic illness, in particular for people confronted with rheumatic suffering. The PhD aims to uncover patterns on the one hand how personal narratives on rheumatic suffering are commodified through storytelling online, and on the other hand how group narratives are socially constructed online and how these impact on how people attribute meaning to their living with rheumatic symptoms/conditions. A comparison will eventually be made between online and offline processes. The research uses an online ethnographic design. A particular chapter of this PhD will describe and discuss the methodological aspects of online ethnographic research.

Period 09-2018 to 09-2024

Contact person(s) of the project: Tom Van Ransbeeck


The organization of care and support for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASS) in Flanders

This project aims at making an inventory of the needs children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder have on behalf of care and support, makes an inventory of and detect gaps in the currently provided care and support in Flanders and will explore the development of a collaborating network between the providers. This research project is commissioned by the Flemish Authorities.

Period: 04-2018 to 01-2019

Contact person(s) of the project: Eva Cloet 


The organization of multidisciplinary collaboration in chronic conditions

Chronic illness presents new challenges for the organization of healthcare. Chronic healthcare must take into account the needs and demands of the patient rather than only considering the medical aspects of the illness. Moreover, healthcare in chronic conditions is provided by a team of care professionals and therefore more research in multidisciplinary communication, multidisciplinary collaboration and new ways of coordinating care between different disciplines is needed. This research project aims to review existing models and determinants of multidisciplinary collaboration in chronic conditions. Additional empirical research will be conducted focusing on the facilitators and the barriers for the implementation of multidisciplinary collaboration in chronic care trajectories.

Period: 01-2018 to 12-2020

Contact person(s) of the project: Saskia Baes


For-CARE: Implementation of healthcare trajectories for mentally ill offenders 

The interuniversity For-CARE Project, commissioned by the federal Minister of Social Affairs and Health, studies the implementation of a Master Policy Plan for reforms in the care for mentally ill offenders (MIO) in Belgium. One of the core research questions focuses on how interorganisational and intersectoral collaboration contributes to a better organization of MIO care trajectories. The research is grounded in scientific discussions on mandated interorganisational networks, its governance and in realist evaluation methods. The research aims to support policy makers, organisations and practitioners to optimize the care for MIO. 

Period: 01-2016 to 12-2018

Contact person(s) of the project: Mark Leys


The organization of multidisciplinary diagnostics for school-aged patients with NDDD in Belgium

Early detection of neurodevelopmental delays and disorders has an important impact on subsequent development and opportunities, and has the potential to decrease service utilization and economic burden later in life. Despite the fact that the Belgian and Flanders health system provides different types of settings offering multidisciplinary diagnostics, experience shows that an early, fast and fluent diagnostic trajectory, accessible for every child, is currently not guaranteed for the entire population. This research project aims at developing scientifically grounded knowledge in order to improve the organisation and accessibility of multidisciplinary diagnostics for children with a neurodevelopmental delay or disorder in Belgium. The results of this research project will be translated into recommendations to improve the organisation and accessibility to diagnostic services. This research project is funded by the King Boudouin Foundation.

Period: 01-2017 to 12-2019

Contact person(s) of the project: Eva Cloet



Palliative care communication in oncology departments in Flanders, Belgium

Palliative care is the active, total care for patients (and their relatives) whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment(s). Early initiated palliative care has the potential to improve the quality of life of patients and their relatives through timely identification of emerging needs and problems of physical, psychosocial and spiritual nature. Yet, for many cancer patients palliative care is only initiated late in their disease course or even not at all. This dissertation starts from the hypothesis that clear, compassionate and timely communication about palliative care with cancer patients will result in better and earlier implementation of palliative care. This research project aims to understand barriers and facilitating factors in the communication on palliative care in medical oncology settings in Flemish hospitals in Belgium.

Period: 02-2013 to 08-2017

Contact person(s) of the project: Melissa Horlait