Prof. Dr. Andrea Evers

Principal Investigator

Andrea Evers is Professor of Health Psychology and chair of the Health, Medical, and Neuropsychology unit at Leiden University.

Her research focuses on psychoneurobiological factors, such as stress and expectations, in health and disease. She has a specific interest in the psychoneurobiology of somatic complaints (e.g., pain and itch) and conditions (e.g., chronic inflammatory conditions), with particular emphasis on placebo effects, stress mechanisms, and treatments.

Her research group conducts both fundamental research on psychoneurobiology of placebo and stress mechanisms and translational research on screening and self-management or cognitive-behavioural interventions for healthy populations and chronic somatic conditions.

Important research questions are: How does stress affect chronic somatic symptoms and conditions? How can we optimally use placebo effects in health care? Can we train immune and endocrine systems by psychological means? How can we optimise interventions for patients with chronic somatic complaints or conditions? Answering these questions will eventually lead to increased insight in the psychoneurobiology of health and chronic somatic conditions and the optimisation of screening and interventions in health care for patients with chronic somatic complaints and conditions.

Andrea Evers received several grants for her research from the European Research Council (ERC Proof of Concept grant & ERC-consolidator grant), the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO VENI and VIDI grants). She is a member of the Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie) of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences).  She is also a registered clinical psychologist (BIG) and cognitive behavioural therapist (VCGT).

Press photo

Therapist training and certificates (selection)

  • Registration supervisor cognitive-behaviour therapy (2009, 2014) and cognitive-behaviour therapist (2004)
  • Registration clinical psychologist (BIG) (2006, 2011, 2016)

Key grants and prizes (selection)

  • Empowering expectations for health and disease: Development of a pioneering training tool. ERC Proof of Concept Grant 2015, 2016-2018, ca. 150.000 Euro (grant applicant).
  • Empowering expectations for health and disease: Training of the immune and endocrine system. ERC Consolidator Grant 2013, 2014-2019, ca. 2.000.000 Euro (grant applicant).
  • Unraveling the placebo effect: The power of expectancies for conditioning the immune and endocrine system. NWO-Vidi grant for high potentials, Innovational Research Incentives scheme VIDI grant, NWO Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research 2010-2015, 800.000 euro (grant applicant).
  • NWO Aspasia grant, NWO Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research 2010-2015 (grant applicant).
  • Psychophysiological stress mechanisms in chronic inflammatory diseases. NWO-Veni grant for high potentials, Innovational Research Incentives scheme VENI grant, NWO Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, 2004-2007, 200.000 Euro (grant applicant).
  • Prof. Dr. Pieter Boeke Prijs award for the best research contribution in the area of psychotherapy 2003, Postgraduate Education College for Psychotherapy 2004 (Stichting Post Academiale Opleiding Psychotherapieën, PAO-P, 2004).
  • Prof. Dr. Goslingsprijs award for the best Ph.D. thesis in rheumatology 2002-2003. Dutch College of Rheumatology, 2003 (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Reumatologie, 2003). 

National scientific memberships and advisory boards (selection)

  • Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie) of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) (since 2013)
  • Scientific Board of the Dutch Association for Research in Psychology & Health (ARPH) (since 2011)
  • Co-Chair Profile Area ‘Health during the human life cycle’, Leiden University (chair since 2016 board member and board member since 2014)

Research schools and institutes (selection)

  • Experimental Psychopathology (EPP) (associate senior member 2003 – 2013, senior member since 2013)
  • Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition & Behavior (Principal Investigator since 2013)
  • Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (since 2014)

Editorial, reviewer and advisory activities (selection)

  • Editorial Board, Associate Editor Pain (since 2016)
  • Editorial Board Itch (since 2016)
  • Editorial Advisory Board European Journal of Pain (since 2012)
  • Editorial Advisory Board International Journal of Psychology (since 2011)

Key publications (selection)

Evers, A.W.M., Gieler, U., Hasenbring, M.I., & Van Middendorp, H. (2014). Incorporating Biopsychosocial Characteristics into Personalized Healthcare. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 83, 148-15 [Impact 7.23].

Evers, A.W.M., Verhoeven, E.W.M., Middendorp, H., Sweep, F.G.J., Kraaimaat, F.W., Donders, A.R.T., Eijsbouts, A.E., Van Laarhoven, A.I.M., De Brouwer, S., Wirken, L., Radstake, T.R.D.J., & Van Riel, P.L.C.M. (2014). Does stress affect the joints? Daily stressors, stress vulnerability, immune and HPA axis activity, and short-term disease and symptom fluctuations in rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, 73(9), 1683-1688. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-203143 [Impact 9.11]

Evers, A.W.M., Zautra, A. & Thieme, K. (2011). Stress and resilience in rheumatic diseases. A review and glimps into the future. Nature Reviews Rheumatology, 7, 409-415. [Impact 9.75]

Bartels, D., Van Laarhoven, A., Haverkamp, E., Wilder-Smith, O., Donders, R., Van Middendorp, H., Van der Kerkhof, P., & Evers, A.W.M. (2014). Role of conditioning and verbal suggestion in placebo and nocebo effects on itch. Plos One, 9(3):e91727. [Impact 3.73]

Berende, A.M.D., ter Hofstede, H.J.M,  Vos, F.J., van Middendorp, H., Vogelaar, M.L., Tromp, M., van den Hoogen, F., Donders, A.R.T., Evers, A.W.M., & Kullberg, B-J. (2016). Randomized trial of longer-term therapy for symptoms attributed to Lyme disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 374, 1209-1220. [Impact  55.87]

Peerdeman, K.J., Van Laarhoven, A.I.M., Keij, S.M., Vase, L., Rovers, M.M., Peters, M.L., & Evers, A.W.M. (2016). Relieving patients' pain with expectation interventions: A meta-analysis. Pain, 157, 1179-1191. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000540 [Impact 5.21]

Van Beugen, S., Ferwerda, M., Hoeve, D., Rovers, M., Spillekom-van Koulil, S., Van Middendorp, H., & Evers, A.W.M. (2014). A meta-analytic review of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with chronic somatic conditions. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(3):e88. [Impact 3.77]

Van Laarhoven, A.I.M., Van der Sman-Mauriks, I., Donders, R., Pronk, M., van de Kerkhof, P.C.M,. & Evers, A.W.M. (2015). Placebo effects on itch: A meta-analysis of clinical trials of dermatological patients. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 135, 1234-1243. [Impact 6.71]

Profile page Andrea Evers Leiden University.

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