This specialization belongs to the Master's programme Psychology.
Health Psychology & Technology focuses on promoting healthy behaviour, adapting to illness, and improving care. Our aim is to help you use psychological insights to create innovative technological solutions (eHealth).
How can we prevent young people from binge drinking? Can we develop persuasive coaching and ‘serious games’ that will help children learn to live with diabetes? Can we use persuasive coaching to help people smoke less? How do technological innovations, like smart monitoring via sensors, influence people's behaviour? Can we help promote a healthy lifestyle through social media? These are the sort of questions you will look at during your Master's specialization in Health Psychology & Technology.
If you choose Health Psychology & Technology, you are opting for a dynamic, multifaceted and socially relevant field of study. You will use psychological principles to develop interventions or policy, or to conduct research that "really matters". You will generally have a lot of contact with your target group (patients, healthy people or caregivers).
The specialization in Health Psychology & Technology focuses on the interaction between the psyche and health. Examples of target groups are: high risk adolescents, elderly people, people with chronic conditions – along with their families and healthcare professionals.
In this Master’s specialization, you will study potential avenues and creative solutions for persuasive, next-generation eHealth technologies aimed at promoting healthy behaviour and improving the quality of life of those who are ill or who suffer from a chronic condition. You will learn to do this using self-monitoring and coaching by means of ‘persuasive technologies’, for instance. You will study theories about the relationship between mind and body. You will also learn to use psychological theories for designing technological interventions aimed at preventing illness or advancing recovery, and to develop methods that will assist patients in self-managing their medical condition.
For your Master’s thesis, you could, for instance, join our research on eHealth and study issues such as: How can persuasive coaching technology and ‘serious games’ help to prevent obesity? How does online access to medical records influence the doctor-patient relationship? Many of our students conduct their Master’s research project at external institutions, such as the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, Municipal Public Health services and hospitals.
Twente is at the cutting edge of technological innovations in the health sector. You will notice this in our research, in which we cover topics such as big data, smart monitoring and eHealth. New technologies offer a lot of possibilities in health care. You will study problems in health care, looking at how people deal with illnesses and how you can use technology to help them – all from a psychological perspective. We can tell you that there is an increasing demand in the job market for professionals who can bridge the gap between technology and psychology.
At Twente, we view Health Psychology from a lifecycle perspective. The impact an illness has on a person, after all, is largely determined by the stage of life he or she is in. An illness such as diabetes, for example, will involve different challenges for children and pre-teens than it does for young adults or middle-aged people.
Our Master's programme has a special focus on skills that, you will need to perform well as a Health Psychology professional in a dynamic work environment. Think of cross-disciplinary collaboration, for example, or of having to ‘sell’ your intervention to important partners. At the University of Twente, we will help you acquire these abilities via a ‘Professional Skills line’ running through your whole Master's programme. These skills are important for your personal and professional development and you will practice them in small groups, always within the context of your study subjects. Throughout the Master's programme, you will build thus up a strong portfolio to present to future employers along with your degree, when you graduate.