Project Title  Predictive validity of diagnostic criteria of FD used in somatic health care
Host institution  University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands
Supervisor  Prof. Judith Rosmalen
Required qualifications  Degree in health sciences, medicine, psychology or sociology; preferably experience with   epidemiological research
Duration   36 months


The main goal of this project is to perform the first encompassing study of the role of diagnostic labels, their predictors and positive and negative consequences, using a multi-method approach combining quantitative analyses of epidemiological cohorts with qualitative analyses of in depth interviews. First, we will study predictors of receiving a diagnostic label for a FD in two large population-based cohorts in the Netherlands (LifeLines) and Denmark (DanFund) in which the diagnostic criteria and the self-reported label for several FD are included. Second, we will study whether the different diagnostic labels predict the prognosis of the FD by analysing symptom burden over time in patients that did or did not report to have received an FD diagnosis. Third, we will perform a qualitative study using a grounded theory approach, in which we will interview patients on the meaning and consequences of the various diagnostic labels in the field of FD.

Expected Results: 

  1. Predictors for various diagnostic labels in patients fulfilling diagnostic criteria
  2. Effect of the diagnostic labels on the prognosis of FD
  3. Theory on predictors and consequences of diagnostic labels from a patient perspective

Planned secondments and research visits: 

  1. Pain Alliance Europe (PAN), Brussels, Belgium (Mr. van Griensven); Start: Month 14; Duration: 4 months; Aim: learn from patient experiences in dif-ferent countries
  2. Aarhus University Hospital (AUH), Research Clinic Functional Disorders (Dr. Frostholm), Aarhus, Denmark; Start: Month 29; Duration: 4 months; Aim: perform the analysis in Danish DanFund cohort
  3. University of Edinburgh (UoE), Neurology, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (Prof. Stone), Edinburgh, UK; Start: Month 33; Duration: 2 months; Aim: analyse the survey data with respect to stigmatizing effects of diagnostic labels to prepare the interview scheme