SPADIS - Measuring Social Participation Among People Living With Chronic Diseases

Last updated on 3-10-2023 by Marie Malingreau
Project duration:
January 1, 2022
December 31, 2026

In short

The SPADIS project aims at measuring the social participation (employment, education and social relationships) of people living with 6 chronic conditions in Belgium: 

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • cystic fibrosis
  • neuromuscular disease

With the help of the ULB and VUB, Sciensano scientists aim to understand the personal and external barriers and facilitators of their social participation and inform the decisions-makers.

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In the context of SPADIS, Sciensano organises focusgroups for people living with a chronic disease in Belgium.
Where and when? At a time and place depending on your availabilities. PDF icon Klick for more information 

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Project description

The SPADIS project has been designed to build capacity within Sciensano in the field of surveillance of social participation of people living with chronic conditions. The project enriches existing databases with additional information at the individual level, concerning the socioeconomic status and self-reported outcomes and experience. The 3 main objectives of SPADIS are:

  • to determine the link between functionality and social participation
  • to develop and implement tool(s) for the e-collection of patient-reported outcomes, experience and information 
  • to assess the impact of health and social security system characteristics on the link between functionality and participation (e.g. objective 1) 

Sciensano will then become a key player at national level in understanding the determinants of the “Health & Work” relationship, but also a major partner for international collaborations.
4 work packages, which are interrelated and include a total of 31 tasks, have been foreseen to reach these overall objectives. 

The coordination of SPADIS is ensured by the WP1, which deals with administrative, technical and organizational aspects (including demands to ECs and privacy commission). Importantly, the WP1 facilitates and steers the SPADIS Advisory Board, composed by the key Belgian public administrations, to which SPADIS results serve and support the work.

The WPs 2 and 3 concern the measurement of disability and social participation, including patient-reported outcomes and experience. These two work packages work under the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) framework, using its indicators for measuring disability, social participation and classify the contextual factors (i.e. environmental and personal factors) as facilitators or barriers. To embrace the complexity of the Belgian social security system and ensure accurate measure, competing risk analysis is used by the WPs 2 and 3. 

The WP4 is dedicated to policy impact assessment and stakeholder’s consultation and involvement, using focus groups, the Deplhi method, scenario analysis and the DYNAMO-HIA tool. 

The challenging integration of quantitative and qualitative data ensures the provision of robust and highly relevant information to improve the quality of life of people living with chronic diseases.


Work Package (WP) Beschrijving Methodes Specifieke doelstellingen
WP1 Coordination Coordinate the SPADIS work packages, communicate with external parties and provide the anticipated SPADIS monograph. Legal, ethical and financial issues are addressed in this work package.
WP2 Epidemiology Linking databases to conduct epidemiological analyses Quantitative research
(competing risk)
survival analyses
  • Examining the relationship between functionality and social participation.
  • Identify driving factors behind transitions in the labor market.
WP3 Patient perspectives and measurement tools Collect and examine patient perspectives through measurement tools developed for that purpose Mixed-methods
Focus groups, psychometric tests, logistic regression analyses
  • Development and validation of appropriate instruments to measure social participation and determinants.
  • Dissemination of these measurement tools to the target population.
  • Analysis of the relationship between social participation and other
WP4 Contextual factors Inclusion of actors (incl. patiënten) Qualitative
  • Identifying and exploring contextual factors (individual and environment)
  • Modeling social participation pathways
  • Modeling networks and collaborations between actors 

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Contact us


Aline Bingen
Christophe Van Roelen

Financial Source

Associated Health Topics

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