dr. M.E. Pieterse (Marcel)

Associate Professor

About Me

After my graduation in Health Sciences in Maastricht (masters degree in Health Promotion), I did my PhD research at the University of Twente. This research involved the design, testing, and implementation of a brief smoking cessation intervention (‘MIS’) by general practitioners. Currently, this intervention has reached full institutionalization in Dutch primary care.

Following my PhD research I stepped out of the academic world and worked for several years at a consultancy firm (HHM) and the National Institute of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NIGZ). In 2002 I returned to the University of Twente as assistant professor, first at the department of Marketing communication & Consumer Psychology, and from 2005 at the department of Psychology, Health & Technology. Currently, I am appointed as associate professor in Health Psychology.

My research focuses on addictive behaviors, including tobacco, alcohol, and gaming. In past and current research projects we have developed, and evaluated eHealth interventions for addicton treatment. The most recent line of work on this topic aims at cognitive biases, and techniques to modify these biases with technology-based techniques (CBM). In addition to addictive behaviors, we also adapt these CBM techniques to treat other health issues, like severe fatigue in chronic patients.
More fundamental research is focused on determinants of (addictive) behaviors, including a PhD project on telemonitoring of both physiological and psychological predictors of relapse (and craving) in alcohol addicts during treatment.

A second research line aims at the impact of the physical environment on recovery of patients.

My teaching includes the following modules and courses:

Health Psychology & Applied Technology (B2-Psy)
From Idea to Prototype; From Prototype to Society (Minor Modules)
Design of Persuasive Health Technology (M-Psy)
Public Health Psychology (M-Psy)
Advanced Research Methods (M-Psy)
B- and M-theses (Psy)

As part of my educational tasks, I am chair of the Examination Board Behavioral Sciences at the BMS Faculty.

Current Expertise

  • Addiction treatment & prevention (smoking cessation, alcohol abuse prevention, gaming addiction)
  • Design and Implementation of health promoting interventions in public health
  • Healing environments in health care settings
  • Implicit processes in health behavior
  • Cognitive Bias Modification interventions
  • Design & research methodology for eHealth


Medicine & Life Sciences
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Mental Health
Positive Psychology
Randomized Controlled Trials
Smoking Cessation
Withholding Treatment


Geerts, J. , Pieterse, M., Laverman, G., Waanders, F., Oosterom, N., Slegten, J., Salemink, E. , & Bode, C. (2023). Cognitive Bias Modification Training Targeting Fatigue in Patients With Kidney Disease: Usability Study. JMIR Formative Research, 7, Article e43636. https://doi.org/10.2196/43636
Siemer, L. (2020). Blended smoking cessation treatment: User experience | Adherence | Effectiveness. [PhD Thesis - Research external, graduation UT, University of Twente]. University of Twente. https://doi.org/10.3990/1.9789036550703
Other Contributions


Tobacco control

  • From intermediate outcomes to physical endpoints of behavioral change: modeling cognitive parameters for cost-effectiveness analyses in health promotion. ZonMw: start 2010. PhD: R. Prenger.
  • A randomised controlled trial with 2-year follow-up in COPD patients comparing a smoking reduction program with a placebo self-help intervention, on reduction followed by sustained cessation (REDUQ trial). Astma Fonds: start april 2009. PhD: P. Hagens
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of an intensive SmokeStopTherapy in an outpatient clinic setting for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease. Astma Fonds: completed in 2006. PhD: L. Christenhusz

Determinants of addictive behaviors

  • My research in this topic focuses on social-cognitive and implicit determinants of alcohol abuse and other addictive (and compulsive) behaviors (xtc, cannabis, gambling, gaming), especially within adolescents and young adults.

Relevant grants on this topic include:

  • Happy Fris: Draagvlak voor alcoholbeleid onder Twentse ouders en hun kinderen. Gemeente Enschede; completed 2010.
  • Gezonde Slagkracht: de rol van jongerenwerkers in het detecteren en doorverwijzen van jongeren met problematisch middelengebruik. ZonMW; completed 2013.
  • Understanding problematic game behavior: Prevalence and the role of social cognitive determinants. Institute Behavioral Research; completed 2012. PhD: M.C. Haagsma.

Healing Environments

  • Healing environments: reducing anxiety and pain in patients undergoing CT surgery. ERASMUS; start jan 2011.
  • Designing healing environments: the effects of physical environmental stimuli in healthcare settings on the health and well-being of patients. College Bouw Ziekenhuis Voorzieningen; completed 2008. PhD: K. Dijkstra.

Mental Health in Low SES populations

  • Improving mental health by enhancing resilience and flourishing. Trimbos Institute; start 2012. PhD: M. Schotanus-Dijkstra.

UT Research Information System


  • Implicit Cognitions and Health Behavior (B2 Psychology)
  • Public Health Psychology (Msc Health Psychology)
  • Entertainment-Education (Msc Health Psychology)
  • Health Communication (B2 Health Sciences)
  • Bachelor and Master Thesis supervision

Courses Academic Year  2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2022/2023

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Cubicus (building no. 41), room C145
De Zul 10
7522NJ  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Cubicus  C145
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands