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In 2010 Tsjitske Haanstra graduated from the research master ‘lifestyle and chronic disorders’ at the VU university Amsterdam. She completed two scientific internships during her masters program; ‘the effectiveness of a school based overweight prevention program (DOiT) for adolescents’ at the social medicine department of the EMGO institute and ‘the design of a health economic model for the long term course of low back pain’ at the department of health economics and health technology assessment of the faculty of earth and life sciences. During her studies she was a member of the symposium committee of the first “Lifestyle and Chronic Disorders research symposium” (2010).  Before starting her masters program in Amsterdam, Tsjitske studied Nutrition and Dietetics in Groningen and worked as a dietician in a health centre.
In September 2010, she started working as a PhD-student at the epidemiology and biostatistics department of the EMGO+ institute on the project ‘patient expectation and treatment outcome’. The aim of this project is to develop a theoretical model to guide future research into the mechanisms of patient expectancies within the framework of treatment settings. The three following issues will be explored specifically
1)      How are patient expectancies constructed within the framework of a treatment setting and which factors play an important role in this process?
2)      Which factors play an important role in adjusting patient expectancies within the framework of a treatment setting?
3)      By what mechanisms are patients expectancies translated into health outcomes and how do they influence the outcome of treatments?