Dr. Carlijn Kamphuis

Dr. Carlijn Kamphuis

Universitair hoofddocent
Interdisciplinaire sociale wetenschap
030 253 7143

Dr. Carlijn Kamphuis is a health scientist by training and appointed as Associate Professor of Public Health (with IUS promovendi) at the Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science of Utrecht University. With her research, she aims to increase our understanding of how physical, socio-cultural and policy-environmental factors contribute to socioeconomic inequalities in health and health-behaviours (e.g. food consumption, physical activity). Some of her current research projects include:


-       VIDI “Socioeconomic inequalities in health & health-behaviours – a systems approach” (2019-2024; funded by NWO). The overall aim of this Vidi-project is to understand how multiple, time-varying, interlinked environmental conditions, in interaction with individual factors, contribute to socioeconomic inequalities in health and health-behaviours, by applying an interdisciplinary systems approach. First papers came out mid 2021 and early 2022. One paper focuses on socioeconomic inequalities in health-behaviours and explores various mediation pathways through material conditions and time orientation using sequential mediation analysis. The second paper explores to what extent pressing issues, like financial concerns, outweigh the importance people attach to health, and whether this differs between socioeconomic groups.

-       Policy Evaluation Network (PEN) (2019-2022; funded by the Joint Programming Initiative: a Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life) (https://www.jpi-pen.eu/) The aim of PEN is to evaluate policy measures to promote a healthy diet and physical activity in terms of their content, implementation and effectiveness. As part of PEN, 28 research institutes in seven European countries and New Zealand collaborate within seven workpackages (WP). Kamphuis is leader of WP6, which focuses on the evaluations of the implementation and impact of three selected policies. Several papers on the acceptability and potential impacts of a Dutch sugar-sweetened beverages tax scheme came forth. As part of WP5, a systematic review was undertaken in order to develop  a conceptual systems model visualising the dynamics of the complex food environment underlying dietary intake in low-income groups. As part of WP1, studies were undertaken to assess the implementation of policies influencing food environments by the Dutch government, as well as by the European Union. The report on Dutch food environment policies was published in January 2021 (Food-EPI NL-report 2021) and the report on EU policies in March 2021 (Food-EPI EU-report 2021).  

-       Iedereen een Gezonde LeefOmgeving in Utrecht (IGLO) (2018-2022; financed by ZonMw). Within the IGLO consortium, there is a close collaboration between research and practise. Researchers from the UU, UMC, and Hogeschool Utrecht collaborate with the municipality of Utrecht and professionals working in the deprived neighbourhood of Overvecht (Utrecht) in order to evaluate the impacts of (a combination of) selected interventions planned to take place in Overvecht in the upcoming  years on the health and wellbeing of residents. An important aim is to advance methods to evaluate the health impact of complex, neighbourhood-based interventions in deprived neighbourhoods, including: a) the application of a systems thinking approach, b) the integration of high-resolution objective and residents-supplied subjective data, c) the development of new approaches to also involve “hard-to-reach” vulnerable groups in all stages of intervention development and evaluation. Kamphuis is work package leader of WP1 and involved in the development of a conceptual, systemic models that visualizes how 'holistic housing renovation' affects the health of residents of Overvecht. Holistic housing renovation combines the physical renovation of social housing with interventions aiming to improve other life domains (e.g. financial situation, social network). The conceptual systems model visualizes how holistic housing renovation, via various mechanisms and feedback loops, may impact on the health and wellbeing of residents. This is a short video about holistic housing renovation (in Dutch). At a meeting in March 2022 with other consortia funded by the same ZonMw call we presented some work in progress (in Dutch). 

-      NWO Verdus SURF Pop up-project (2020-2021; funded by NWO). Replacement of car ownership by car sharing can have multiple positive effects, including increased use of active modii (walking, cycling), reduced vehicle miles travelled, and increased liveability of cities. Less is known on how car sharing can be encouraged. The aims of this study are: 1) to explore views on car sharing among car owners and non-car owners, and 2) to investigate whether the introduction of a shared mobility hub in a residential neighbourhood in Utrecht contributes to changes in attitudes, intentions and transport behaviours. A mixed methods design was employed. Participants were adults residing within 1km from a ‘shared mobility hub’ (i.e. a hub with different types of cars available for sharing, located in a central parking space), which opened on January 31st 2020 in a residential neighbourhood in Utrecht, the Netherlands. A baseline and follow up survey was conducted as well as 24 semi-structured qualitative interviews. A report on this study has been published in March 2021 (in Dutch): Onderzoeksrapport-Deelhub-De-Grifthoek-Utrecht.  An international publication is in progress.  


Kamphuis received her PhD in 2008, which was awarded the Dutch Public Health prize. She has an extensive track record in research into socioeconomic inequalities in health and health-behaviours (e.g. cycling, food choices), with a specific focus on the role of structural conditions (e.g. neighbourhood infrastructure, green spaces, social cohesion, cultural capital). In 2016, she received the L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science award, which allowed her to work and study at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studiy (NIAS) in Amsterdam for five months. In 2018, she won a VIDI grant to study socioeconomic inequalities in health from a systems perspective. Kamphuis published >90 publications, including >70 international peer-reviewed articles, and contributions to several books and governmental reports.

Profile on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlijnkamphuis