CARE-TEST. Healthcare relationship and diagnostic self-test in Brussels-capital region

Our research aims to explore to what extent and under which conditions the introduction of diagnostic self-tests in the pharmacy, induce more effective partnership in the healthcare relationship (at first instance, the relationship between the patient and the healthcare professionals, and at second instance that between pharmacists and general practitioners).

A mixed-method design will be used to analyze the perceptions and practices of patients and healthcare professionals with regard to the healthcare relationship, diagnostic self-tests and the way self-tests influence the healthcare relationships. This will inform the co-creation, pilot testing and evaluation of a tool to facilitate a partnership approach for the guidance process that extends from obtaining information about the diagnostic self-test to the follow-up of a diagnosed chronic disease.

Keywords: diagnostic self-tests, healthcare relationship, mutual participation, pharmacist, general practitioner, patients, patient education, health literacy, integrated care, personalized medicine.

Coordinator: UCL (Sandrine Roussel; Pr. Stephan Van den Broucke)
Partners: ULB (Sarah Rondeaux ; Pr. Carine De Vriese,) ; VUB (Tessa Braeckman ; Pr. Dirk Devroey,).

Sponsor: INNOVIRIS-Bridge

Duration: 3 years (from 1st of January 2018)



IC-HEALTH: Improving digital health literacy in Europe

The wide availability of web-based health information and the increasing digitization of health care creates a unique opportunity for citizens to be better informed and empowered to play an active role in self-managing their health. However, to benefit from this opportunity, people need to have the competence to access, understand, evaluate and apply internet-based health information. This is referred to as digital health literacy (DHL). People with low DHL may retrieve inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete information that can be detrimental to their health.

To counter this, the IC-Health project, funded as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, aims to provide support for the improvement of DHL in Europe and to strengthen citizens’ competences to access, understand and use accurate and reliable information to make well-informed health decisions. In particular, the project will develop a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) in eight different national languages, for different population cohorts including children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, elderly and diabetic people. MOOCs’s structure and content will be designed and tested in a co-creation approach involving representatives of these target groups and health professionals. This co-creation process will happen both offline and online through face-to-face meetings and a dedicated web-based platform. Once the courses are designed, they will be tested with other users in order to ensure their accessibility, usability and effectiveness in improving DHL. All MOOCs will use the same structure with four main topics related to the four dimensions of DHL, namely accessing, understanding, appraising and applying health information found on the Internet. Within each topic, information and examples will be provided about how and where to find health information on the Internet, how to properly use search engines and sort relevant results, how to assess the reliability of health websites and health information, etc.

Keywords: digital health literacy, MOOCs, online education, co-creation, online health information, health self-management, eHealth

Project coordinator: The Canary Islands Health Service (Servicio Canario de la Salud – Gobierno de Canarias)

Partners: Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Università degli Studi di Udine (Italy), Universidad de La Laguna (Spain), University of Ulster (UK), Talinn University (Estonia), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Sain), CNR – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy), Scanbalt Forening, Meyer Children’s Hospital - Universitaria Anna Meyer (Italy), Consulta Europa, Funka Nu AB (Sweden), CCM - Associazione Comitato Collaborazione Medica (Italy), EHMA – European Health Management Association (Belgium).

Funding: European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727474

Duration: 2 years (November 2016 – October 2018)



Innovative nutritional approach of obesity based on the colic nutrient intake: biological, behavioural and societal aspects

To address the overweight/obesity problem, the Food4Gut project was launched in 2014 with the support of the government of the Walloon Region. The project focuses on the impact of food that is rich in a specific type of fibers, Inulin-type fructans, targeting the intestinal microbiota. Inulin-type fructans (ITF) are found in vegetables such as salsify, artichoke and Jerusalem artichoke and are known for their prebiotic capacities and may contribute to preventing obesity. The FOOD4GUT project provides an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to understanding healthy food intake integrating perspectives from different disciplines including biomedical, and psychological sciences, with the common aim of controlling the epidemic of obesity (and associated diabetes) in Wallonia.

Food4Gut consists of five work packages: biology and health, individual and group behavior, society, technology (development of tools and models) and coordination. One of the work packages that our researchers are working on is work package 2: individual and group behavior (Psyfood). The focus is on the role of psychological factors in perception, judgment, and the consumption of prebiotic vegetables. Specifically the role of emotional and cognitive factors is considered, with special attention to interoception, the interpretation of health claims, and the role of environmental factors (nudging), conscious and unconscious. All of these issues are addressed both in a laboratory and field setting (for example, interventions in a restaurant) in order to encourage the consumption of prebiotic vegetables. In addition, the behavioral epidemiological basis of consumption of prebiotic vegetables is also considered.

Keywords: multidisciplinary, nutrition, prebiotics, vegetables, behaviour change

Coordinator: FOOD4GUT: UCL (Nathalie Delzenne), Psyfood: UCL (Olivier Luminet)


  • Universities: UCL (IPSY (i.a. Pr. Stephan van den Broucke, Valérie Broers), MNUT, EDIN, ELIA), ULB (PSYULB, IMMUNOBIO, ERASME), ULG (LDNM, SEED, Unité de Zootechnie)
  • Industrial: Cosucra Groupe Warcoing, Puratos, Laboratoire Ortis, KitoZyme, Restaurants Universitaires, Les Jardins de Dounia, WagrALIM, ICEDD, Observatoire de la Santé du Hainaut

Sponsor: Walloon region (Excellence program)

Duration: 5 years (from the 1st of March 2014)