Prof. M.A.G. Sprangers PhD


Prof. M.A.G. Sprangers PhD

Full Professor
Main activities
Medical psychology; in particular patient-reported outcomes research
Focus of research
  • Patient-reported outcomes (e.g., quality of life, health care needs, illness perceptions, resilience)
  • Response shift (i.e. shifts in patients' perspective over time)


Key publications
  • Taminiau-Bloem Elsbeth F., Schwartz Carolyn E., van Zuuren Florence J., Koeneman Margot A., Visser Mechteld R. M., Tishelman Carol, Koning Caro C. E., Sprangers Mirjam A. G. Using a retrospective pretest instead of a conventional pretest is replacing biases: a qualitative study of cognitive processes underlying responses to thentest items Quality of life research 2016;25 (6):1327-1337 [PubMed]
  • Verdam Mathilde G. E., Oort Frans J., Sprangers Mirjam A. G. Using structural equation modeling to detect response shifts and true change in discrete variables: an application to the items of the SF-36 Quality of life research 2016;25 (6):1361-1383 [PubMed]
  • Sprangers Mirjam A. G. How recent health-related life events affected my perspective on quality-of-life research Quality of life research 2015;24 (5):1157-1162 [PubMed]
  • Sprangers Mirjam A. G., Thong Melissa S. Y., Bartels Meike, Barsevick Andrea, Ordoñana Juan, Shi Qiuling, Wang Xin Shelley, Klepstad Pål, Wierenga Eddy A., Singh Jasvinder A., Sloan Jeff A., Abertnethy Amy P., Baas Frank, Barsevick Andrea M., Boomsma Dorret I., Bottomley Andrew, Brundage Michael, Cella David, Chauhan Cynthia, Cleeland Charles S., Coens Corneel, Dueck Amylou C., Frost Marlene H., Hall Per, Halyard Michele Y., van Laarhoven Hanneke W. M., Martin Nicholas G., Miaskowski Christine, Mosing Miriam, Movsas Benjamin, Oliveira Joao R., Patrick Donald L., Pedersen Nancy L., Raat Hein, Reeve Bryce, Stephen Ristvedt, Ropka Mary E., Schwartz Carolyn, Shi Quiling, Shinozaki Gen, Swaab Dick, Talwalkar Jayant, Thong Melissa, van Noorden Cornelis J. F., Veenhoven Ruut, Wagner Gert, Wierenga Eddy, Yang Ping, Zwinderman Ailko H. Biological pathways, candidate genes, and molecular markers associated with quality-of-life domains: an update Quality of life research 2014;23 (7):1997-2013 [PubMed]
  • Visser Mechteld R. M., Oort Frans J., van Lanschot J. Jan B., van der Velden Jacobus, Kloek Jaap J., Gouma Dirk J., Schwartz Carolyn E., Sprangers Mirjam A. G. The role of recalibration response shift in explaining bodily pain in cancer patients undergoing invasive surgery: an empirical investigation of the Sprangers and Schwartz model Psycho-oncology 2013;22 (3):515-522 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae

Professor Mirjam A. G. Sprangers, earned a master’s degree cum laude (1984) in psychological methods; and a doctor of philosophy degree (1989) from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She has subsequently been a research psychologist at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. In 1995 she started to work at the Department of Medical Psychology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, where she holds the position of full professor since 2004. She coordinates a research line on quality of life that addresses the theoretical and methodological conundrums of patient-reported outcomes research. She was a Foreign Adjunct Professor of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden from 2003 to 2018 and a research collaborator in the Department of Health Sciences Research at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, US from 2009-2012. She has been and currently is member of various scientific and professional organizations. For example, she was member of the Scientific Council of Social Oncology of the Dutch Cancer Society and of the Populations and Behavioral Sciences Committee of Cancer Research, UK and served as President of the board of the International Society for Quality of Life Research. She was co-initiator and co-chair of the international and interdisciplinary GeneQol Consortium to study the biological correlates of quality of life ( She is a long-standing member of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Study Group on Quality of Life. She was member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and is an ad hoc reviewer for a range of other journals and granting agencies. She authored more than 350 papers published in peer-reviewed journals that address the methodological, theoretical and clinically applied aspects of quality-of-life research in a range of chronic diseases. She received the 2014 International Society for Quality of Life Research President's award for her contribution to the field of quality of life research.

Research programmes

Prof. M.A.G. Sprangers PhD (Quality of Life)

The overall goal of the research line "Quality of Life" is to enhance the well-being of somatically ill patients by studying their quality of life and to facilitate the correct inclusion of patient-reported outcomes in patient-based, clinical research. Patient-reported outcomes include quality of life, symptoms, treatment adherence, patient preferences for treatment, and psychological variables, such as anxiety, depression, coping, and illness cognitions. This goal is achieved by conducting three types of studies. First, we conduct clinically applied research by supporting and participating in patient-based clinical studies that include patient-reported outcomes, initiated by clinical departments within and outside the AMC. Second, we conduct methodological research by developing and applying advanced statistical and qualitative methods to better examine changes in quality of life, taking shifts in patients’ perspectives over time (known as response shifts) into account. We also develop and validate methods that assess treatment adherence. Third, theoretical research is aimed at delineating the sociodemographic, clinical and psychosocial factors that affect quality of life. The insights gained from these studies allow for targeting health care to those who need it and provide important contributions to evidence-based medicine.

P.T. Nieuwkerk PhD

S.Y.M. Thong PhD
M.G.E. Verdam PhD

PhD Students
M. Koitsalu MA

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • HIV Research Trust, c/o Administrative Secretariat
  • Life Sciences Health TKI
  • Longfonds
  • NWO