Jan Passchier

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+31 20 59 82898
faculteit der gedrags- en bewegingswetenschappen ( sectie klinische psychologie )
Academic Director Indonesia

Professional interests

My excitement is in scientific research that aims at the understanding and relieving of pain and distress using an inspiring theory.

I received in 1993 my appointment as professor in Medical Psychology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Erasmus University and as head of the department of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy of the Erasmus MC Rotterdam.

The title of my inaugural speech was: 'Pain in the heart':
My main area of expertise is the psychology of pain.

Current research is about determinants of pain-related quality of life. My other topics are: psychology of reproductive medicine, transplantation, reconstructive surgery and palliative care.

Key words:

Psychology of Physical Problems, in particular Pain

  • pain in children, headache, migraine
  • quality of life; functioning, psychological vulnerability and self-efficacy
  • medical psychology, behavioral medicine



My teaching concerns lectures and group sessions on psychological aspects of pain, physical malformation, reproduction, cultural differences and physician-patient communication.


  • psychology of pain
  • psychology in medicine



Positions and employment
1971-1975: Student assistant, Dept Psychology, VU University Amsterdam
1975-1984: Research fellow, Dept Psychology, VU University Amsterdam
1984-1993: Assistant professor, Dept of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam
1990-2000: Director Centre of Psychomedical and Psychotherapeutical Research Rotterdam
1991-1998: Secretary NWO-working-group "Behaviour factors of somatic disorders"
1993-2009: Full professor Medical Psychology; Head of the Department Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy
1993-present: Chairman Programcommittee on Pain research of I and II of ZonMW
1994-1998: Chairman Dutch Working Group "Health Status Measurement"
1994-present: Member of the Paediatric Subcommittee of the International Headache Society
1999-present: Member of the Central Ethical Committee on Medical Scientific Human Research
2000-present: Chairman of the College of Dutch Chairs in Medical Psychology
2003-present: Member of the Programcommittee on Pain research III of ZonMW
2004-present: Member of the VIDI-committee of NWO
2006-present: Member of the Board of the Dutch Chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
2008-present: Member of the Dutch Health Council
2009-present: Dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam
2009-present: Professor in Psychology of Physical Problems, in particular Pain

Personal interests

I love sailing with its dependency of water, wind, man and boat. Reading English literature is a favourite pastime, and seeing movies follows next.

Being a member of the Joseph Conrad Society, I follow the example of this great Polish writer of the 19th century by writing stories and essays about the psychology of sailing.

Inspiration comes from our old renovated captain's house, built in 1640 at the waterside in Amsterdam not far from that of Michiel de Ruyter. Here we live, my wife Joke and I.