Personal information

Danielle  Timmermans


Professor at the department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO Institute of the VU University Medical Center, Endowed Chair Hannie van Leeuwen "Risk Communication and Patient Decision Making". Program director of the EMGO research program Quality of Care and head of the research line Quality, Risk and Safety in Health Care of the Department of Public and Occupational Health.

Daniëlle Timmermans studied psychology at the University of Amsterdam and at the University of Utrecht. After graduation she studied a year at the University of Michigan, Institute for Social Studies. She obtained her PhD degree of the University of Groningen, Department of Psychology in 1991. Her thesis was titled:” Decision Aids for Bounded Rationalists. An evaluation study of multi-attribute decision support in individual and group settings.” 

From 1990 until 1997 she was assistant professor at the Medical Decision Making Unit of the Medical Faculty of Leiden University. After this she moved to the EMGO institute. Her main focus of research is the communication and perception of health risks and decision making processes in the health domain as well as on the effects of communicating health risks on well-being and behaviour. 

She supervises research projects focusing on risk perception, risk communication and informed decision making in different  health domains (e.g. prenatal screening, hereditary breast cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, electromagnetic fields) as well as a project about diagnostic errors. Funding is provided by e.g. ZonMw, KWF, NWO, Vumc, NutsOhra. Her publications are mainly about risk perception, risk communication and decision making. She regularly gives (invited) presentations about these topics, and organised symposiums on risk perception and decision making with researchers from the Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, USA, Germany and Israel

She has been on the scientific board of several conferences (Subjective Probability and Utility Decision Making (SPUDM), in 2005; European Society Medical Decision Making, in 2004 and 2006) and is (was) on the editorial board of several journals (Medical Decision Making; Journal of Behavioural Decision Making; Risk, Decision and Policy). She reviewed for about 30 international journals in the medical field as well as in psychology and for more than 10 national and international funding organizations. She is a member of the Society for Medical Decision Making, the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, the Netherlands Association of Community Genetics, is a member and founder of the Netherlands Forum for Medical Decision Making, and The Dutch Working Group on Risk Communication. She is a member and former president of the European Association for Decision Making. She participated in the International Consensus on Standards for Developing and Evaluating Patient Decision Aids. She is/was member of several committees of e.g. the Health Research Council of the Netherlands (e.g. about the precautionary principle and health), the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development,  the committee for the Prevention Consult, the program committee Population Screening Cervical Cancer and Population Screening Colon Cancer and on international committees such as the expert group setting the agenda for  research in radiofrequent electromagnetic field of the WHO in 2010.