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Nijmegen Centre for Anxiety and Affective disorders Research and Expertise – NijCa2re


NijCa2re is a longstanding collaboration between the Research Program Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment, Pro Persona, a large mental health care institute in the middle-east part of the Netherlands and the UMC Radboud.


Purpose and mission statement:

Scientific research lies at the heart of all improvements in mental health care.  With NijCa2re we aim to improve knowledge and understanding regarding the etiology and treatment of both anxiety and affective disorders, and in addition to enhance the existing treatments and/or to develop novel more powerful treatments for these disorders.

Nij-CARE aims for a close interconnection between science and the field. This serves two purposes:

  1. To provide anxiety and depressed patients with the best available treatments according to highest scientific standards and
  2. To ensure relevant research, that means research addressing questions most important to patients with anxiety and affective disorders and their therapists, including the development of new treatments and treatment strategies

Because there are no sharp diagnostic and age limits in the disorders we investigate, our research addresses both trans-diagnostic and across the lifespan in nature.


  • Gert-jan Hendriks
  • Jan Spijker
  • Eni Becker
  • Karin Roelofs

Gert- Jan Hendriks (g.hendriks@ru.nl):



Examples of Ongoing studies:

A Cognitive control training for depressed patients (ZONMW). Aim of the study is to investigate whether the training of working memory and executive function with a computer task can reduce rumination and have positive effects on the depressive symptomatology in elderly depressed inpatients.

The so-called SpeakUp! study investigates by means of a proof-of-concept design the enhancement of exposure and administration of a low dose of testosterone in women with social anxiety disorder. The idea behind this is that the administration of testosterone might make women less anxious and less inclined to avoid social activities.

Targeted glucocorticoid treatment for HPA-axis dysfunction in post-traumatic stress disorder: toward personalized treatment (ZONMW TOP-Grant). Aim of the study is to investigate whether exposure therapy is ineffective in those patients who exhibit a change in their cortisol response. Cortisol is a hormone that is normally released during stressful experiences and important in adaptive responses. Some patients show a weaker cortisol response, especially patients who have experienced trauma during early childhood. In rats, it will be investigated if such a low cortisol response results in a weaker reduction of fear responses. It will then be investigated if cortisol treatment also reduces fear in PTSD, but specifically in those patients who have weaker cortisol responses. In the future, this research may result in a targeted and personalized treatment of PTSD.

Behavioural activation delivered by mental health nurses versus treatment as usual for late-life depression in primary care (ZONMW). Aim of the study to investigate and compare the (cost) effectiveness of Behavioural activation (BA), carried out by trained mental health nurses (POH-GGZ) in 8 weekly sessions of 30 minutes with usual care for elderly with depressive symptoms in general practice. If BA is (cost-)effective, a simple, non-medical intervention will become available for the treatment of depressed elderly in general practice.


For contact, see the following websites:

https://nijcare.nl/  or https://english.nijcare.nl/ (English version)