Adriaan Visser (Nieuwveen, 1941), PhD, studied social psychology at the Free University, Amsterdam (NL). The published thesis (1984) was on the methodology of the measurement of patient satisfaction. Worked the rest of is life mostly as health psychologist avant la lettre, engaged in education of university students (psychology, medical, nursing, dental), research in health care, implementation of health care changes, writing, and editing.

1. Awarded grants

Hundreds of grants have been awarded on patient education, organization of health care, dental care, diabetes, fibromialgie, psychosocial cancer care, breast cancer, prostate cancer, palliative care, aging, family planning, psycho-neuroimmunology (PNI), depression, mindfulness, complementary medicine, and spirituality.

2. Publications

More than twenty-five books and about thousand (inter)national and Dutch (applied) articles on: health promotion, patient education, patient satisfaction, organization of health care, methodology, social desirability, dental care, diabetes, suicide, contraception, aging, chronically diseases, cancer, palliative care, psycho-neuroimmunology (PNI), depression, mindfulness, creative art, and spirituality.

3. Positions
  1. From 1970 till 1986 lecturer and coordinator of the research programme “Behaviour and change in organizations” at the Free University, Amsterdam. Lecturing psychology at nursing schools.
  2. Since 1986 coordinator of the research program and associate professor on “Social aspects of aging”, includes chronic disease (University of Maastricht, NL).
  3. From 1990 research director of the International Health Foundation (Brussels, Belgium) on contraception, menopause, and aging.
  4. Since 1994 till May 2006 director and associate professor for the research program on “Behavioral interventions in psycho-oncology” at the Helen Dowling Institute (Utrecht, NL), funded by the Dutch Cancer Society.
  5. End 2009 till end 2015 appointed as assistant-lecturer Transitions in Health Care at the Rotterdam University for Applied Sciences, Research Center Innovations in Healthcare, Rotterdam, NL.
4. Topics of the studies during the last 20 year
  • the role of psychosocial factors in the course of breast, cervical and prostate cancer,
  • effects of psycho-social interventions in cancer (social support, existential psychotherapy groups, mindfulness training),
  •  the role of psycho-neuroimmunological factors in cancer progression,
  •  need for and evaluation of palliative care facilities,
  • introduction and evaluation of complementary care (art, aromatherapy and massage).
  • development of patient-centered care in hospitals (training/intervision of nurses and doctors).
  • guidelines of the psychosocial care for prostate cancer patients, basal cell carcinoma, and palliative care,
  • development, use and evaluation of so called Inloophuizen (hospitality centers) for cancer patients and their families.
5. Other positions and work since 2006
  1. Supervision of publications, projects and. thesis at the Helen Dowling Institute (Utrecht) on spirituality, social support for cancer patients, quality of life of prostate cancer patients, evaluation of psychosocial interventions for cancer patients.
  2. In cooperation with the Maia Foundation (Rotterdam) studies on the implementation of complementary medicine in nursing homes, effects of mindfulness training for people with a depression history (policlinic and ambulatory mental care institutions), and mindfulness training and Alexander Technique for fibromialgie patients.
  3. Evaluation of the supportive care in three institutes for psycho-oncology.
  4. Evaluation of creative therapy.
6. Editorial positions
  • Editor of the international journal “Patient Education and Counseling” (published by Elsevier, Amsterdam, NL).
  • Former member of the editorial board of several Dutch journals in the field of health care (Gedrag en Gezondheid, Tijdschrift voor Sociale Gezondheidszorg, TSG), Gezondheid en Samenleving.


Abraham Kuyperlaan 97 A
3038 PH Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Phone: 31-(0)10-4677857 / 31-(0)6-22304087