Prof. dr. J.K. Sluiter †

Main activities
Research, Teaching
Occupational Medicine and Occupational Health
Focus of research

Work-ability and recovery is addressed from an Occupational Medicine and Insurance Medicine perspective. Studies from this research group will lead to transferable and usable knowledge for Medical Specialists in general and Occupational- and Insurance physicians specifically.

One ambition of this research group is to enhance the quality of workers' medical examinations (pre-employment and on-employment) and the medical guidance of ageing workers with respect to their workability, especially for workers in jobs with high demands. Almost all research projects are translational in nature and aim to develop, implement or study new medical examination protocols or better examination procedures.

Another ambition is to contribute to better evaluations of work ability, work functioning and job-specific recovery after health problems. We do this by developing and scientifically evaluating instruments and tools to assess and make judgement about work ability, work functioning and job-specific recovery. In addition, research of factors related to work stress, work-related fatigue and related health outcomes remains an ongoing research activity in this group. Our research may be of great help to clinical research too by providing better patient/client related outcomes.

Both ambitions fit within defined themes of the programme Societal Participation & Health as part of the amc-vumc alliance research institute Amsterdam Public Health.

Since 3-2016 I perform the additional role of the AMC-director of one of the alliance research institutes (Amsterdam Public Health research institute). Since 9-2017 I am head of the department.

Between 2011 and 2016, 13 PhD projects were succesfully finished and 9 PhD projects were started. As of april 2017, two new MD PhD projects are to be started (not yet in DOCTOR): one in insurance medicine and one in occupational medicine.


  • Pre- and on-employment medical examinations (medische keuringen werknemers)
  • Workers' Health Surveillance (preventief medisch onderzoek werknemers)
  • High-demand jobs (zware beroepen / zware arbeid)
  • Workability, work capacity, work functioning (werkvermogen/duurzame inzetbaarheid)
  • Ageing (old and young workers; gender specific ageing problems) and workability

Specific topics

  • Fatigue and recovery
  • Psychological stress, stress hormones and disease
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Psychosocial work environment
  • Informal care givers and stress
Key publications
  • Boezeman EJ, Nieuwenhuijsen K, de Bekker-Grob EW, van den Akker-van Marle ME, Sluiter JK, The relative importance of the domains of work functioning: evaluations of health-impaired employees, healthy employees, and employers. J OCCUP ENVIRON MED 2015;57 (4):361-366 [PubMed]
  • Gärtner FR, Nieuwenhuijsen K, van Dijk FJH, Sluiter JK, Impaired work functioning due to common mental disorders in nurses and allied health professionals: the Nurses Work Functioning Questionnaire. INT ARCH OCC ENV HEA 2012;85 (2):125-138 [PubMed]
  • Ketelaar SM, Nieuwenhuijsen K, Gärtner FR, Bolier L, Smeets O, Sluiter JK, Mental Vitality @ Work: The effectiveness of a mental module for workers' health surveillance for nurses and allied health professionals, comparing two approaches in a cluster-randomised controlled trial. INT ARCH OCC ENV HEA 2014;87 (5):527-538 [PubMed]
  • Hagberg M, Violante FS, Bonfiglioli R, Descatha A, Gold J, Evanoff B, Sluiter JK, Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in workers: classification and health surveillance - statements of the Scientific Committee on Musculoskeletal Disorders of the International Commission on Occupational Health. BMC MUSCULOSKEL DIS 2012;13:109 [PubMed]
  • Ruitenburg MM, Frings-Dresen MHW, Sluiter JK, The prevalence of common mental disorders among hospital physicians and their association with self-reported work ability: a cross-sectional study. BMC HEALTH SERV RES 2012;12 (1):292-298 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae


Prof. dr. Judith Sluiter died on 14th May 2018



Last education:

2014-2015 Business School Amsterdam, UvA: Executive MBA-Healthcare management


Main job-activities:


2017(9)                : Head of Department Coronel Institute of Occupational Health (AMC afdeling Arbeid en Gezondheid)

2016(3) - present: (AMC) Director Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute

2013(7) - present: Full Professor Academic Medical Center/Unviversity of Amsterdam, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health

2007 - present: Principal Investigator Academic Medical Center, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health

2009 - present: Manager Dutch Expertise Center of (pre-employment) medical examinations and workers' health surveillance is managed, the 'KMKA'


2005-2013(6) Associate Professor in Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam

2001-2005: Assistant Professor in Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam

1999-2001: Post-doc researcher, Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam

1997-1999: PhD student at Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam (Department: Occupational Health)

 (Thesis title 1999: How about work demands, Recovery and Health? A neuroendocrine field study during and after work)


All scientific publications (1997 up to september 1st 2017):

  •  378 scientific publications, of which 186 international articles covered in PubMed

Nineteen PhD students with thesis:

de Croon 2003, van der Molen 2005, Meijer 2006, Wind 2007, Gouttebarge 2008, Slebus 2009, Joosen 2011, Plat 2011, Gartner 2012, van den Oord 2012, Boschman 2013, Dekkers-Sanchez 2013, Zoer (2014), Ketelaar (2014), van Velzen (2014), Visser (2015), Ruitenburg (2016), Audhoe (2016), Böstrom (Sweden, 2016)

International experience:

Sweden, University of Gothenburg (Guest Professorship for short-duration periods 2013-2015; Guidance PhD student, 2009-present); Norway, University of Bergen (timeperiods between 2000-2001); Sweden, European project SALTSA (1998-2000); Switzerland (Rehabilitation Clinic, full-time 1987-1988)


Research programmes

Medical selection and medical guidance of workers

Research from this line contributes to knowledge on the (medical) examination of work-ability and prognosis of job-specific recovery after health problems. 

Factors interfering with the ability to maintain optimal work-related health and optimal workability and work-functioning are focused upon.

Most important contributions with a societal impact from 2011 to 2016:
(Inter)national guidelines
(Inter)national (health) policy reports
(Contributions to) books
  • Sluiter, Plat en Frings-Dresen, in Langan-Fox J & Cooper CL: Handbook of stress in the occupations, Chapter 12: Prevention of work-stress-related health complaints in firefighters., (2011).
  • Sluiter JK & Hulshof CT, in: Forder CJ (ed): Gelijke behandeling: oordelen en commentaar 2010. Themabijdrage: Onderscheid op grond van fysieke belastbaarheid voor de arbeid., (2011).
Internet community for patients or research
Societal grants and awards
  • NVAB, Nederlandse Vereniging voor Arbeids- en Bedrijfsgeneeskunde: Burger-penning for PhD thesis Sarah Ketelaar, (19/06/2015).
  • AMC: Societal Impact Award 3rd prize, (23/11/2015).
  • KHMW: Nominee of membership for the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities, (24/02/2016).
Use of research results in improved tests / treatments
  • PAM (en AK) ambulancesector, Nieuwe inhoud en protocollen voor aanstellingskeuring en preventief medisch onderzoek Ambulancesector (, (01/01/2011).
  • PMO ziekenhuisartsen, beroepsspecifiek protocol preventief medisch onderzoek, ontwikkeld voor arbodiensten (Ruitenburg MM, Plat MJ, Frings-Dresen MHW, Sluiter JK), (01/01/2015).


Research and societal impact results in the last years:

  • Since 2009, as Knowledge Translation activity, the Dutch Expertise Center of pre-employment medical examinations and workers' health surveillance is managed, the 'KMKA'. This center is a co-initiave between this PI-line in the Coronel Institute of Occupational Health including experts from the Netherlands Center of Occupational Diseases (NCvB) and the Dutch Association for Occupational Physicians (NVAB)
  • 2007-2016 Workers’ Health Surveillance (WHS) and medical examinations were developed and implemented on the national level in the fire fighting sector, in the ambulance sector and recently a start was made for the National  Police     
  • 2010-13 a 4-years cohort study on medical students was executed in 3 Dutch medical faculties.    
  • Spring 2012, a four-year study was finished in which a job-specific workers' health surveillance for medical residents and hospital physicians was developed and a feasibility study was performed in an academic medical center.
  • In 2013, together with occupational health services, implementation activities to start periodical medical examinations for medical residents and hospital physicians in practice has been started
  • In 2013 and 2014, new medical examinations were developed for water inspectors, highway inspectors, governmental seafarers,  train conductors and safety railway workers
  • In 2013, a new practice guideline on the topic of preventive medical examinations (WHS) for occupational physicians was first-authored.
  • In 2014, for governmental safety inspectors of all transport domains, new medical examinations were developed. 
  • In 2015-2016, in a large project, we developed medical examinations for 38 different specialties in the Dutch police force
  • In 2015, the thesis from this group of Sarah Ketelaar won the "Burgerpenning", a 2-yearly price of best and most relevant scientifc publication that is awarded by the Netherlands Society of Occupational Physicians, the NVAB.
  • In 2015, a prize was awarded to the PI group of Judith Sluiter in the AMC Societal Impact Award competition; in 2016 the PI group was nominee
  • In 2015, an insurance company recorded a short movie with Sluiter and Nieuwenhuijsen on the topic of vitality and workability of workers
  • In 2016 Judith Sluiter was invited to become a member of the KHMW, de Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen

Finished PhD trajectories in last 6 years:

  • In 2011, Margot Joosen finished  her PhD projects on  the reintegration of chronic fatigued workers
  • In 2011, Marie-Christine Plat finished her PhD projects  on implementation studies of Workers' Health Surveillance in the firefighting sector
  • In 2012, Fania Gartner finished her PhD project, developing a job-specific work functioning instrument in relation to mental health complaints and testing it in a WHS for nurses during a RCT  
  • In 2012, Marieke van den Oord (Ministry of Defense) finished her PhD project on the topic of Prevention of flight-related neck pain in military aircrew
  • In 2013, Julitta Boschman finished her PhD project and evaluated a job-specific workers' health surveillance in construction industry 
  • In 2013, Patricia Dekkers-Sanchez finished her PhD project in which she developed and implemented an instrumen for workability assessment in insurance medicine
  • In 2014, Ilona Zoer finished her Phd project about assessing work-ability in relation to age and high-demands environments or work with specific health requirements 
  • In 2014, Sarah Ketelaar finished her PhD project in which the effect of workers' health surveillance with occupational physician-visits was tested and found effective on work-functioning associated with the psychological health of hospital nurses. E-mental health  as strategy was shown to be not effective in this population.
  • In 2014, Judith van Velzen's thesis dealt with early multidisciplinary intervention in rehabilitation medicine directed to patient relevant outcomes like returning to work, after acquired brain injury.
  • In 2015, Steven Visser's thesis dealt with the implementation of participatory ergonomic guidance protocol in construction workers.
  • In 2016, Martijn Ruitenburg finished his PhD project in which hospital physicians, their risk-factors at work and work-related health and workability were the main topic: we developed an evidence-based job-specific workers' health surveillance (in Dutch: Preventief Medisch Onderzoek) and studied it's feasibility.
  • In 2016, Selwin Audhoe's thesis in an Insurance medicine context studied factors that may promote work participation in non-permanent workers with psychological problems.
  • In 2016 (oct), Maria Böstrom (Gothenborg University, Sweden), finished her PhD project on factors influencing the optimal workability in young workers.


Prof. dr. J.K. Sluiter †
Prof. dr. M.H.W. Frings-Dresen
Prof. dr. C.T.J. Hulshof MD PhD
Dr. S. Kezić
Dr. P.P.F.M. Kuijer
Dr. H.F. van der Molen
Dr. K. Nieuwenhuijsen
Dr. S.J. Tamminga PhD

Dr. E.J. Boezeman
Dr. J. Boschman
Dr. J.L. Hoving BSc MSc PhD
I.M. Vooijs MSc

J. Blekemolen MD (Vodemol)
Drs. H. van Bolhuis MD MSc (ArboUnie)
Dr. T. Brand MD PhD
Prof. dr. F.J.H. van Dijk
X. Qi MSc (SouthEast University, Nanjing, China)
Mr. A.M.C. Schoutens (Fluxplus / Letec, Eindhoven)
Dr. B. Sorgdrager MD PhD
Y. Steinman MSc (Royal Netherlands Air Force)
K. Wentz PhD (University of Goteborg, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, Goteborg, Sweden)
Prof. dr. H. Wind (UWV)
M.E.C. de Wit MSc

Dr. A.G.E.M. de Boer (Chronic disease and work)

Dr. S. Kezić (Etiology and prevention of occupational skin diseases)

Other research related activities
  • Membership of medical or scientific committee, GR (GezondheidsRaad, Dutch Health Council), Fit to drive medical examination
  • Membership of advisory board / Consultant, CBR
  • Director Research Institute, University of Amsterdam
  • Other, KHMW Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen
  • Membership of advisory board / Consultant, Netherlands School of Public & Occupational Health
  • National Secretary ICOH, International Commission on Occupational Health
  • Membership of medical or scientific committee, International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH)
  • Membership of medical or scientific committee, International Alliance of Physician Health
  • Membership of medical or scientific committee, Nederlandse Behavioral Medicine federatie (NBMF), Nederlandse Behavioral Medicine federatie (NBMF)
  • Contribution to training of professionals, Netherlands School of Public & Occupational Helath