Personal information

Karen van Leeuwen (1985), PhD

I work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Health Sciences at the VU University. I am currently involved in the ASCOT-NL project, in which we will develop a Dutch version of the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit. This instrument aims to measure and value quality of life of older adults and can be used for economic evaluations, allocation decisions and quality improvement of care services for older adults in the Netherlands.

Short biography
In 2008 I obtained an MSc in Communication Studies (Cum Laude) at the University of Twente in Enschede. During my study I focused mainly on health communication and patient education. In 2010 I obtained my MSc in Epidemiology (Cum Laude) at the Research Master’s program Lifestyle and Chronic Disorders at the Department of Health Science at the VU University in Amsterdam. 

From 2010-2014 I worked on my PhD project at the Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine, EMGO+ Institute, VU University Medical Centre. This project focused on the economic evaluation of an integrated care model for frail older adults living at home, as part of the ACT study. Next to that I evaluated the measurement properties of quality of life instruments for economic evaluations of care for older adults. As part of my PhD project I visited the ASCOT team at the PSSRU at the University of Kent for three months in 2012. In May 2015 I successfully defended my thesis entitled ‘Integrated care and quality of life of frail older adults. How can we measure what we aim to improve?’.

Research Interests

  • Regression methods for health economic evaluation
  • Preference based quality of life measurement
  • Allocation, quality and (cost-) effectiveness of care services for older adults
  • Integrated care


  • Quality of life (Centre for Health Economics, University of York)
  • Regression methods for health economic evaluation (Centre for Health Economics,University of York)
  • Discrete Choice Experiments in healthcare (Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Technology Assessment, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht)
  • Introduction to Bayesian Analysis & WinBUGS in Health Economic Evaluations (MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge)
  • Multiple Imputation to Handle Missing Data (MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge)
  • Survival Analysis for clinicians (Nihes Rotterdam)
  • Basic medical knowledge (EpidM, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam)
  • Courses from the Master Vitality and Ageing (Leyden Academy, Leiden)
  • Workshops Qualitative Research & Qualitative data analysis (VU University, Amsterdam & Radboud University, Nijmegen)