CV - Liesbet Goubert


Foto2 Liesbet Goubert

First name: Liesbet
Name: Goubert
Department adress: Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Gent
Room number: 130.043
Tel: ..32 (0)9 264 62 62


Full Professor of Health Psychology at Ghent University (Oct. 2014 - present)
Associate Professor of Health Psychology at Ghent University (Oct. 2012 - Sept. 2014)
Assistant Professor of Health Psychology at Ghent University (Oct. 2007 - Sept. 2012)
Postdoctoral fellow of the fund for Scientific Research - Flanders (2004 - 2008)
PhD fellow of the fund for Scientific Research - Flanders (1999 - 2004)

Research group

Ghent Health Psychology Lab


Research interests

My main research interests are (1) how pain signals in others are detected and interpreted, (2) its consequences for the observer in terms of observational learning and in terms of empathy (distress and prosocial behaviour), and (3) interpersonal processes of goal regulation and the relationship with quality of life.

Studies are executed in diverse populations, including (1) healthy volunteers and (2) clinical populations suffering from acute or chronic pain (children, adolescents and adults) or other chronic conditions (e.g., cystic fibrosis, diabetes). A diversity of methods is applied: (1) experimental research, (2) diary methodology, (3) behavioural observation, (4) psychophysiological measurement, and (5) cross-sectional and longitudinal questionnaire research.

More information can be found at the website of our research group at

My publication list can be found at


Health Psychology, Interpersonal dynamics of pain and chronic illness, Empathy



In May 2017, Liesbet Goubert was invited to deliver the highly prestigious British Pain Society Annual Lecture at the 50th Anniversary Annual Scientific Meeting of the British Pain Society, and she received the British Pain Society Medal in recognition for her outstanding contributions to the clinical science of pain.

Goubert, L. (2013). IASP-SIG Early Career Award in Pediatric Pain, awarded by the Special Interest Group on Pain in Childhood, International Association for the Study of Pain. 

Goubert, L. (2006). Facing their child's pain: the importance of parental empathy. Pain Research EFIC Grünenthal Grant (EGG) Award for young scientists carrying out innovative and exploratory clinical pain research (EFIC = European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain).

Goubert, L. (2003). Low back pain in the general population: prevalence, risk indicators and erroneous beliefs. Prize "Institut Belge de la Douleur-UPSA-Belgisch Pijninstituut", awarded to a young researcher in the domain of pain.

De Ruddere, L., Goubert, L., Prkachin, K., Stevens, M., Van Ryckeghem, D., & Crombez, G. (2011). When you dislike patients, pain is taken less seriously. Pain, 152, 2342-2347. This study has been selected and evaluated by the F1000 ( as work belonging to the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine.

Helsen, K., Goubert, L., Peters, M.L., & Vlaeyen, J.W.S. (2011). Observational Learning and Pain-related Fear: An Experimental Study with Colored Cold Pressor Tasks. The Journal of Pain, 12, 1230-1239. Manuscript awarded with the Best Article Award 2011/2012 by the Dutch-Flemish postgraduate School EPP (Experimental Psychopathology).

Caes, L., Vervoort, T., & Goubert, L. (2011). Parental catastrophic thoughts are associated with parental distress during child's lumbar and bone marrow punctures. Poster presented at the CHI-congress Psychosocial Oncology - psychosocial research and practice, Mechelen, Belgium. Poster awarded with the prize of "Best research in psychosocial oncology".

Service at Ghent University

  • FPPW Academic Secretary
  • President of the FPPW Committee Environment and Health
  • Member of the FPPW Faculty Board (October 2014-present)
  • Member of the FPPW committee Secondary Activities
  • Member of PhD guidance and evaluation committees

External services

  • Associate Editor of PAIN
  • International collaborator of the Strategic Training Program on Pain in Child Health (PICH) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (2008 - present)
  • Member of scientific committee Annual Award to a young researcher in pain, of the Belgium Pain Society (2010-present)
  • Chair of Scientific Program Committee of the 11th International Symposium for Pediatric Pain, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2017
  • Chair of Scientific Program Committee of European Pediatric Psychology Conference, Ghent, Belgium, September 2018
  • External consultant of research projects
  • External advisor for clinical projects on pediatric pain
  • Ad-hoc Reviewer for following journals:
  • Pain, Brain, JAMA, Personality and Individual Differences, Health Psychology Review, Clinical Journal of Pain, European Journal of Neuroscience, Behaviour Research and Therapy, European Journal of Pain, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Pain Medicine, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Journal of Pain, Journal of Individual Differences, International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, Psychological Reports, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, Pediatric Pain Letter, International Journal of Clinical Practice, Psychology and Health, Pain Research and Management, Chronic Illness, European Review of Applied Psychology, Pain Management
  • Reviewer of scientific projects for international scientific organisations
  • Member of the Working Group on Social Media for the journal PAIN
  • Member of board of directors of the Belgian Pain Society (2006-2012)
  • Associate Editor of APA journal Health Psychology (2014-2016)


  • Member of International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
  • Member of Belgian Pain Society (BPS), national chapter of the IASP
  • Member of the IASP Special Interest Group on Pain in Childhood
  • Member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS)
  • Member of Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP), Division 54 of American Psychological Association
  • Member of the Association for Psychological Science (APS)
  • Member of the Association for Researchers in Psychology and Health (ARPH)
  • Member of "Maastricht-Leuven-Gent pain groups"

Interesting links