Meet the plenary panelists at HCIM: Andrea Evers
Hero in healthcare. Andrea Evers always knew she wanted to help solve the world’s health problems. She had been fascinated by health topics ever since she was young. And with a number of healthcare workers in her family, Andrea was pretty clear about her future. Fast forward a few years and as a researcher, psychotherapist and teacher, Andrea has done extensive research in the field of healthcare. With her award-winning research into placebo-effects, Andrea has proven herself to be a leading professor in this field.
‘My health interests have always been diverse: I liked psychology as well as medicine, so choosing wasn’t easy. Then I asked myself what would be worse, losing a leg or not being able to cope with it? That’s when I knew what I wanted to do.’
'I asked myself the question: what is worse, losing a leg or not being able to cope with it?'
‘I dediced that it would be worse if you are not able to cope with it, so I made my choice for Psychology. However, I still wanted to connect with medicine. I have always been interested in the medical parts of psychology. The fact that a lot of people around me were working in healthcare, has firmly enshrined my believe in the power of people. Training can be useful, but finally, the right attitude is necessary to achieve your goals. Therefore, everything in my work is about humans and about his feelings. What scares them? Do they feel support from family or friends? My personal goal is to disentangle the link between body and mind, and develop innovative interventions in this area. So, we should not only discuss this theory one to one in person, but address this issue on a higher level. That is my job too as a teacher and scientific researcher. Combining these different jobs makes my work very varied.’
'The nice thing about CliniClowns is that you can see children smile and become happy immediately.'
The power of positivity
‘We know that the more negative feelings and expectations patients have during their treatment, the greater the chance of problems during the treatments, such as side effects. From our research on placebo effects, we know that it is important also to focus on possible positive aspects in healthcare, instead of focusing solely on being sick. CliniClowns has a nice way of doing that. If you have a one-sided focus on something that causes stress, it can have a negative impact on your condition and the whole treatment. The nice thing about CliniClowns is that you can see children smile and become happy immediately. Clowns force people to be engaged in something different. I would like to use this strategy in all healthcare areas, so patients have as little stress as possible. I truly believe that if we use psychology in a good way, we can shorten treatments. I hope I can share that insight with others at HCIM2021.’
Andrea will be one of the panelists at HCIM 2021, you can find more info about the other panelists & keynote speakers here.