Occupational Therapy Research Unit Ghent

Meaningful Activities

This research focuses on three topics

  • the development of occupation based and occupation focused interventions in which meaningful activities are central at the level of quality of life, well-being, identity;
  • the optimization of occupational diagnosis including the development of instruments to measure meaning, diagnose and set goals;
  • the neurophysiology of meaningful activities with EEG (Electroencephalography) and fNIRS (Functional Near infrared Spectroscopy).


Participation has been increasingly used in health, welfare and rehabilitation since the WHO published the International Classification of Human Functioning (ICF).  This research focuses, on the one hand, on clarifying the concept and, on the other, on measuring it so that it becomes applicable in interventions in various target groups and sectors of health, welfare and rehabilitation.

Labor participation is a specific focus within this line of research. Return to Work, with key concepts such as Functional Capacity Evaluation and Capability Approach (CA) are central.  Two topics are central to this line of research

  • clarifying the underlying concepts in Return to Work;
  • developing evidence-based tailored interventions.

Organization of Rehabilitation

This research focuses on the organization of rehabilitation with a view to optimizing it (effectiveness, efficiency, future-orientation, sustainability and financing), promoting the participation and quality of life of rehabilitants (shared decision-making, empowerment).


Health and self-management

In the context of chronic disease, health is increasingly perceived as dynamic as well as the ability to self-manage despite the presence of the disease. Self-management is characterized by three sub-forms, namely medical management, emotional management and role management. Clarifying the concept of self-management and developing evidence-based interventions are central.


Tenured Academic Staff and Visiting Professors

Prof. dr. Patricia De Vriendt

Prof. dr. Daphne Kos

Prof. dr. Dominique Van de Velde

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Marieke Coussens

Dr. Ellen Cruyt

Dr. Stijn De Baets

Predoctoral Researchers

Drs. Dries Ceulemans