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Grootenhuis Group

Martha Grootenhuis

Martha Grootenhuis has worked at the Emma Children's Hospital at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands since 1992 after studying Clinical Psychology. Between 1992-1996 she worked on her PhD project "Coping with Childhood Cancer: Strategies of Parents and Hospital Staff’’. Thereafter, she built a research group on pediatric psychology with a special focus on psychosocial oncology. Grootenhuis works on studies in order to identify problems at an early age and stage, and on interventions to improve psychosocial functioning and quality of life. Her research relies increasingly on web-based applications. A case in point is the digital KLIK method, designed to systematically track the quality of life and development of children and integrate results in the clinical practice. Online interventions for siblings and parents are part of this development as well. She has received various research grants over the course of her career from institutions such as the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF). She has (co-) authored more than 200 national and international publications in pediatric psychology. She is associate editor for Supportive Care and Cancer, consulting editor for Health Psychology and on the Editorial Board for pediatric oncology for the European Journal of Cancer.  Grootenhuis is founder and chairwoman of the Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Committee (SIOP-PPO) of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) and has been responsible for the organization of the SIOP-PPO meetings during the annual SIOP conference since 2008. In 2011, she was appointed Professor for pediatric psychology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Amsterdam. She contributed to the development of standards for the Psychosocial Care of Children With Cancer and Their Families, which were published in a special issue of Pediatric Blood and Cancer. In 2015, she transferred partly to the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She was recruited to build a national program for pediatric psychosocial oncology research and healthcare innovation.


The major goal of psychosocial research and practice is to determine and to decrease the burden of treatment and to improve the quality of life for pediatric cancer patients, survivors, and their families across the lifespan. We study 1) the impact of childhood cancer, and the applied medical treatment on psychosocial outcomes and quality of life; 2) the risk and protective determinants that are associated with these outcomes; 3) the development, feasibility, effectiveness and implementation of psychosocial interventions. Great strides have been made but more remains to be done. In the years ahead, various research projects will start. Wherever possible, these will adapt and implement existing interventions, and evaluate their effectiveness. Since development-oriented care (ontwikkelingsgerichte zorg (OGZ)) is the key focus of the Princess Máxima Center, the research will also focus on communication, reducing medical traumatic stress, and increasing family dedicated care.

Key publications

  • Sint Nicolaas SM, Schepers SA, Hoogerbrugge PM, Caron HN, Kaspers GJ, van den Heuvel-Eibrink MM, Grootenhuis MA, Verhaak CM. Screening for Psychosocial Risk in Dutch Families of a Child With Cancer: Reliability, Validity, and Usability of the Psychosocial Assessment Tool. J Pediatr Psychol. 2015 Dec 29.
  • Kazak AE, Abrams AN, Banks J, Christofferson J, DiDonato S, Grootenhuis MA, Kabour M, Madan-Swain A, Patel SK, Zadeh S, Kupst MJ. Psychosocial Assessment as  a Standard of Care in Pediatric Cancer. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Dec;62 Suppl 5:S426-59
  • de Ruiter MA, Schouten-van Meeteren AY, van Vuurden DG, Maurice-Stam H, Gidding C, Beek LR, Granzen B, Oosterlaan J, Grootenhuis MA. Psychosocial profile of pediatric brain tumor survivors with neurocognitive complaints. Qual Life Res. 2016 Feb;25(2):435-46.
  • Santana MJ, Haverman L, Absolom K, Takeuchi E, Feeny D, Grootenhuis M, Velikova G. Training clinicians in how to use patient-reported outcome measures in routine clinical practice. Qual Life Res. 2015 Jul;24(7):1707-18.
  • Maurice-Stam H, Scholten L, de Gee EA, van der Zanden RA, Conijn B, Last BF, Grootenhuis MA. Feasibility of an online cognitive behavioral-based group intervention for adolescents treated for cancer: a pilot study. J Psychosoc Oncol. 2014;32(3):310-21.

Group members

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