Project Title  Developmental transdiagnostic mechanisms underlying FD
Host institution  Aarhus University, Denmark
Supervisor  Prof. Charlotte Rask
Required qualifications  Degree in medicine, psychology or health sciences; preferably experience in epidemiological   research and analysis of large data set from different sources
Duration   36 months


The main goal of this project is to outline possible familiar risk factors, developmental trajectories and delimitation of severe FD from preschool to adolescence, using data from the Copenhagen Child Cohort (CCC2000) and Danish registers. First, an epidemiological study will be performed to examine the course of FD from preschool to adolescence (remission, stability, exacerbation). Second, we will explore long-term psychiatric and somatic outcomes of childhood FD based on register data. Third, we will examine familiar health care patterns as a proxy for potential transgenerational transmission of FD. Fourth, we will evaluate criteria for the diagnosis of bodily distress syndrome (BDS) in adolescence (16-17 year-olds) as well as estimate the prevalence of severe FD and the distribution according to sex and socioeconomic status in this age group. Data from a large population-based cohort in the Netherlands (LifeLines) will add the possibility to extend studies on transgenerational transmission by structural equation modelling.

Expected Results: 

  1. Knowledge on the developmental course of childhood FD
  2. Psychiatric and somatic long-term outcomes of childhood FD
  3. Effect of familiar health care patterns on the development of childhood FD
  4. The usefulness of unifying diagnostic FD construct in adolescents

Planned secondments and research visits: 

  1. University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine (Prof. Rosmalen), Groningen, Netherlands; Start: Month 20, Duration: 6 months; Aim: analyse transgenerational symptom transmission in LifeLines cohort
  2. Aarhus Municipality (AARM), Section for Health, Children and Adolescents (Mrs. Vestergaard), Aarhus, Denmark; Start: Months 32; Duration: 4 months; Aim: learn how to implement research results into preventive youth health care