LUCAS is an interdisciplinary research centre of KU Leuven, active in health and social care (www.kuleuven.be/lucas). The mission is: to improve quality of life by initiating and supporting innovations in care practice and policy and by means of research, training and consultancy.
In all three areas insights from policy, practice and research are integrated in dialogue with different stakeholders. Research topics are in the fields of care for vulnerable persons, mental healthcare, communication in care relationships and poverty and social exclusion.
Prof. dr. Chantal Van Audenhove
PhD in Psychology
Chantal Van Audenhove is clinical psychologist and emeritus professor with formal duties at the KU Leuven Academic Centre for General Practice in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care.
Her research concerns the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence based practices in mental health practice, organisation and policy. Prevention of depression and suicide is an important topic of her international research in collaboration with EAAD since 2003. In the different consortia she was leader of the team for evaluation and data management. Other topics of her research are: quality of care, informal care and family care, the evaluation of the mental health reform towards community mental health care in Belgium, stigma and discrimination, shared decision making and vocational rehabilitation.
Vulnerable groups have taken a specific place in her research by translating and supporting the implementation of the vision of recovery in the context of severe mental health problems. A strong focus on inclusion and participation and involvement of patients and family carers was present in many studies.
Prof. dr. Jeroen Luyten
Phd in health economics
Jeroen Luyten is associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine and head of the Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, one of the research units of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at KU Leuven. Prof. Luyten teaches courses on health economics, economic evaluation and public health ethics in KU Leuven’s MSc in Global Health, Master in Healthcare Management and Policy, Master in Nursing and Midwifery, and the Master of Bioethics.
He’s also the program director of the Master in Healthcare management and Policy, a member of the Executive Board of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care and member of various educational steering committees.
His research focuses on the methods of health technology assessment, resource allocation and priority-setting in healthcare with previous studies investigating economic and ethical trade-offs between investing in prevention vs treatment, fair rationing of critical resources and the role of future generations in HTA. He led several applied cost-effectiveness studies in healthcare domains including vaccination, assisted reproduction, genetic screening, diabetes treatment, mental health, and occupational health screening.
Dr. Evelien Coppens
PhD in Psychology
Evelien Coppens is research expert at LUCAS, the Centre for Care Research and Consultancy of KU Leuven. Her research mainly focusses on mental health care, youth mental health care, prevention of suicide and mental health disorders, promotion of mental health, and implementation research.
She has been involved in several European research projects on mental health funded by the European Commission: OSPI-Europe (i.e., optimising suicide prevention programs and their implementation in Europe), PREDI-NU (i.e., preventing depression and improving awareness through networking in the EU), ADOCARE (i.e., a preparatory action related to the creation of an EU network of experts in the field of adapted care for adolescents with mental health problems), MENTUPP (i.e., mental health promotion and intervention in occupational settings), and EAAD-Best (i.e., adapting and implementing EAAD’s best-practice model to improve depression care and prevent suicidal behaviour in Europe).