HCR.20.027 – Brief, transdiagnostic, positive and accessible: towards (online) evidence-based mental health care for all

Route: Health care research, sickness prevention and treatment

Cluster question: 094 How do we improve the quality of health care as much as possible while keeping it affordable?

Mental health disorders are very prevalent: about one in four persons suffer from a disorder (at any time) and many more suffer from subthreshold symptoms or from psychosocial problems such as loneliness, financial problems, or problems with raising children. Preventive services are virtually absent and health care services are fragmented, have long waitlists, are difficult to access and are expensive. Our project is aimed at improving accessibility of preventive services and low-intensity mental health care (including psychosocial care). Our ultimate aim is for patients to be able to access care if needed, without a waitlist, not just to reduce their symptoms but to restore their capacity to live the life they want. We will experiment with central admission points, with models which indicate which patients need to be referred to high-intensity services, with integrating online and face-to-face care, with offering preventive services, and with offering brief low-intensity interventions by different providers. We expect that the increase of low-intensity services will lead to a decrease in high intensity services, in less productivity losses, and in less health care use in general and are thus more cost-effective. This project builds upon work that has been carried out in the past years in which we created a consortium consisting of representatives of a large number of patient- professional-, academic-, and health policy organisations. Based on their input, as well as on the answers on a survey among patients and professionals, we put together a research agenda which we now translate to this NWA proposal. We will demonstrate effects and costs of new ways of working in experimental regions with a ‘care as usual’ regions. Together we can make the difference towards (online) evidence-based mental health care for all.


cost-effectiveness, generalistic treatments, health care, mental health, online treatment, Prevention, primary care, transdiagnostic

Other organisations

different universities, LV POG-GGZ, mental health care organsiations, NIVEL, patient organisations, Trimbos Institute


Organisation Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
Name Prof. dr. A. (Annemieke) van Straten
E-mail a.van.straten@vu.nl
Website https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/annemieke-van-straten