Wouter Vanderplasschen

Wouter Vanderplasschen
Wouter Vanderplasschen

Wouter Vanderplasschen (PhD, °1974) is associate professor at the Department of Special Needs Education (Orthopedagogiek) at Ghent University (Belgium). He is a senior researcher in the field of substance abuse treatment and recovery. He was trained in special education at Ghent University and spent long-term research stays at the universities of Glasgow and Stirling (Scotland) and Sheffield Hallam University (England). His PhD-research focused on the implementation and evaluation of case management for drug users with multiple and complex problems. As a professor at Ghent University, he teaches courses in ‘Ethics and deontology’, ‘Substance abuse : prevention and treatment’ and ‘Orthopedagogical assessment and treatment planning’.

Wouter Vanderplasschen has been doing research during the past 15 years concerning accessibility, effectiveness and quality of care in substance abuse treatment and concerning recovery in general. His research interests include addiction recovery, case management, treatment methods, vulnerable groups, therapeutic communities, continuity of care and evaluation of treatment. He has supervised several studies on the role of treatment, case management and psychosocial support in addiction recovery, resulting in several journal articles, books and monographs. Recently, he has been involved in studies on continuity of care in prison settings (EU-project ‘My first 48 hours out’), recovery pathways of alcohol and drug users in three European countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK (REC-PATH) and on recovery capital among substance users with a migration background. He is the supervisor of a dozen of PhD students around the themes of addiction, recovery and quality of care.

He has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications in international journals about addiction and recovery, including highly cited journals like Psychological Medicine, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment en European Addiction Research. Wouter Vanderplasschen is a co-editor of the journal ‘Drugs : Education, Prevention, Policy’ He acts as a reviewer for several international peer-reviewed journals and presented his research at several national and international alcohol and drug conferences.

Selected publications

Vanderplasschen, W., Rapp, R.C., Wolf, J., & Broekaert, E. (2004). The development and implementation of case management for substance use disorders in North America and Europe. Psychiatric Services, 55(8), 913-922.

Vanderplasschen, W., Wolf, J., Rapp, R.C. & Broekaert, E. (2007). Effectiveness of Different Models of Case Management for Substance-Abusing Populations. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 39(1), 81-93.

De Maeyer, J., Vanderplasschen, W., & Broekaert, E. (2010). Quality of life among opiate-dependent individuals: A review of the literature. International Journal of Drug Policy, 21(5), 364-380.

De Maeyer, J., Vanderplasschen, W., Camfield, L., Vanheule, S., Sabbe, B., & Broekaert, E. (2011). A good quality of life under the influence of methadone: A qualitative study among opiate-dependent individuals. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 48, 1244-1257.

Vanderplasschen, W., Colpaert, K., Autrique, M., Rapp, R.C., Pearce, S., Broekaert, E. & Vandevelde, S. (2013). Therapeutic communities for addictions: a review of their effectiveness from a recovery-oriented perspective. The Scientific World Journal, Article ID 427817.

Rapp, R.C., Vandennoortgate, W., Broekaert, E. & Vanderplasschen, W. (2014). The efficacy of case management with persons who have substance abuse problems: A three level meta-analysis of outcomes. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(4), 605-618.

Stevens, L., Verdejo-Garcia, A., Goudriaan, A., Roeyers, H., Dom, G. & Vanderplasschen, W. (2014). Impulsivity as a vulnerability factor for poor addiction treatment outcomes: A review of neurocognitive findings among individuals with substance use disorders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 47, 58-72.
Kalema, D, Vanderplasschen, W., Vindevogel, S., & Derluyn, I. (2016) The role of religion in alcohol consumption and demand reduction in Muslim Majority Countries (MMC). Addiction, 111(10), 1716-1718.

Swerts, C., Vandevelde, S., Van Der Nagel, J.E.L., Vanderplasschen, W., Claes, C. & De Maeyer, J. (2017). Substance use among individuals with intellectual disabilities living independently in Flanders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 63, 107-117.

Naert, J., Roose, R., Rapp, R.C., & Vanderplasschen, W. (2017). Continuity of care in youth services: a systematic review. Children and Youth Services Review, 75, 116-126.

Best, D.,  Vanderplasschen, W., Van de Mheen, D., De Maeyer, J., Colman, C., Vander Laenen, F., Irving, J., Andersson, C., Edwards, M., Bellaert, L., Martinelli, T., Graham, S., Hamer, R. & Nagelhout, G.E. (2018). REC-PATH (Recovery Pathways): Overview of a Four-Country Study of Pathways to Recovery from Problematic Drug Use. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 36(4), 517-29.

An overview of all publications can be found here.


Postal address:
Henri Dunantlaan 2
B-9000 Gent

Visiting address:
Begijnhoflaan 464
B-9000 Gent

Tel:   32 (0)9 331 03 10
Email: Wouter.Vanderplasschen@UGent.be