Geert Crombez

Geert Crombez is Professor of Health Psychology in the Department of Experimental-Health Psychology at Ghent University. He obtained his Phd in 1994 on the role of learning psychology in pain (supervisor: Paul Eelen). Since his appointment in 1998 at Ghent University, he initiated experimental research in experimental psychopathology, learning psychology, and health psychology, and he further facilitated the growing of research in these areas to maturity. He has published more than 250 internationally peer-reviewed papers in these areas, and some of these papers are key papers in the field with a large theoretical and clinical impact.

Currently, he is coordinating the research on the psychology of (chronic) illness, in particular the role of psychological and social variables on symptom perception, disability and suffering, and its implications for clinical practice. His approach is grounded in contextual functionalism. He focuses upon the development of integrative models of symptom perception, disability and suffering that are built primarily around the dynamic nature of goals and self-regulation. He has provided facilities and created a network for translational research that allows investigating the clinical relevance and applicability of current theorizing. Finally, he provides and stimulates critical reflection on theoretical concepts (e.g. somatization, acceptance"), the relevance of empirical data (e.g. statistical vs clinical significance), and the practice of science (study protocol and reporting, and research propaganda).

Research Interests

  • Systematic and critical reviews in clinical and health psychology
  • eHealth interventions in clinical and health psychology
  • The role of cognitive and motivational factors in the experience of symptoms, distress and disability
  • Learning psychology and ill-health