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Arwen Pieterse

Email address


Leiden University Medical Center


The Netherlands


Chair rEACH

Biography - Exec

Arwen Pieterse, PhD, associate professor at the department of Biomedical Data Sciences of Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands.

She studied Cognitive Psychology and graduated (cum laude) in 1998. She obtained her PhD in 2005. She was Research fellow of the Dutch Cancer Society (2008-2011). She obtained several grants to study doctor and patient treatment preferences, communication during decision consultations, values elicitation, and determinants of shared decision making. Based on her research, she co-developed an e-learning to teach shared decision making skills to medical students and clinicians. She received the 2018 Jozien Bensing award from EACH, granted biennially to early-career researchers.



Main focus of your work


Field of teaching/research

Communication studies

Specialty area

Oncology (mostly)

Explain where colleagues can find out more about you and your current projects _xD_


Number of years you have worked in health communication research


Other areas of research interest/expertise

Hi, I am a cognitive psychologist who over the past 15 years has conducted studies focusing on different areas within communication research. My Her work has included different settings (genetic counselling, oncology), aspects of communication (affective/instrumental communication, risk communication, communication of preferences), research methods (analysis of consultations, qualitative interviews, surveys), and topics (fulfilment of patients’ needs, patient involvement in treatment decision making). In more recent years, my main research focus is on shared decision making (SDM) in oncology, including its assessment and communication tools to support SDM. I further teach health communication and communication skills, in particular shared decision making and risk communication, to under- and post-graduate medical students, residents and clinicians.

Arwen Pieterse

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