Personal information

Saskia  Duijts

Saskia Duijts was born on April 25, 1978 in Sittard, the Netherlands. After graduating from secondary school in Sittard in 1996, she studied Occupational Therapy at the College of Amsterdam and graduated in 2000. She finished her study Health Sciences at Maastricht University within the next two years, with a major in Health Education and Promotion. From 2002 till 2007, she worked as a researcher at the department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, on her thesis 'Prediction and early intervention in employees at risk for sickness absence due to psychosocial health complaints', which was funded by ZonMw. During the first year of her PhD project, she completed a major in Epidemiology. During the third year, she received a travel grant from ZonMw to work several months at the Department of Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Birmingham (UK). 

Since 2007, she held the position of post-doctoral research fellow at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam on a randomized controlled multicenter trial evaluating the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy and physical exercise for climacteric symptoms in breast cancer patients experiencing treatment-induced menopause. In 2009, she received a travel grant (Dutch Cancer Society) to visit the collaborating group in this project of King's College in London for a few weeks. 

In 2010, Saskia started to combine her postdoctoral work at the Netherlands Cancer Institute with educational tasks within the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at VUmc. Also, she became the editor-in-chief of the Dutch Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, a board member of the NVPO (Dutch Organisation for Psychosocial Oncology) and chair of the working committee Scientific Research of the NVPO. 

As from 2010, she started as a senior reseacher at the Department of Public and Occupational Health at VUmc, to supervise PhD students on 'Cancer and Work' related projects. Also, she developed and coordinated the course Oncology and Public Health.

In 2014, Saskia started with her fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Society. In this fellowship: 'Work beyond cancer. Sustained employability as behavioural change', she investigates if return to work and staying at work can be seen as behaviour that can be changed, in cancer patients and survivors, and if behavioural theories and models can be applied here. Also, she will explore how interventions on behavioural change can be translated to the work context of cancer patients and survivors, finally aiming at developing these interventions and evaluating their effect. The fellowship is embedded in both the VU University Medical Center and the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Next to this fellowship, Saskia is still supervising PhD-students on 'Cancer and Work' projects at the VU University Medical Center. And, she became the Associate Editor of the European Journal of Cancer Care in March 2015.