Since 2019, Josefien van Olmen accepted a tenure track position to develop and implement the research plan for the spearhead research on Quality of Integrated Care. Her research expertise fits within the domain of health systems research. It can be divided along three main areas: 

  1. Diversity and Multi-morbidity; 
  2. Intra, Extramural and Intersectoral Collaboration; 
  3. Health information and health information systems. 

Methodologically, she focuses on implementation research and on multi-country case studies, with the focus on reciprocal learning. Her research is situated in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) and in European countries. 

On 22/03, she participated in the breakoutsession on COVID-19. The subject of her presentation was Integrated care – the research agenda in the view of mental health and wellbeing.

As a General Practitioner, the clinical shifts during the height of COVID pandemic were surreal. We worked in an emergency container with separated flows for almost everything, from patients to equipment to coffee moments. With cough and fever being dominant in the mainstream discourse, we were most busy with people with longstanding mental problems who broke down, preferably during the night. Florid psychosis, suicide attempts, panic attacks. And now, in the years after – 3 new patients with a burn-out every week.
In the first line, we hold generic consultations, so patients come with a combination of complaints. They are obese or have diabetes, and you want to talk with them about lifestyle. If you do so, you enter into a dialogue about the reasons why they don’t manage to do sports or cook daily. They came out of a divorce, they have financial problems. Many experience chronic stress, some anxiety or depression. Impossible to separate one problem neatly from the other. 
So similarly in research, Josefien van Olmen focuses on integrated care: interconnectedness of problems, multi-level interventions, the way how they interact with persons and context. For instance, in the YIPEE project, we test a multi-component intervention targeting the inner, social, and environmental dimensions that underpin mental health and broader NCD risk reduction outcomes. Our hypothesis for YiPEE is that the combination of the multicomponent intervention and the youth-informed and -activated implementation model will lead to increased reach. The YIPEE project illustrates how you can implement and evaluate integrated care projects in international research projects. 

  • ​You can download the slides below.

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