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The Belgian-Dutch Network for ESM Research

About the Network

The Belgian-Dutch network for experience sampling method research is a collaboration between five different universities in Belgium and in the Netherlands. The universities are collaborating to increase knowledge about the experience sampling method (ESM) in mental health research. By learning from each other, sharing knowledge and experience, cooperation and innovation are enhanced.

The experience sampling method is an intensive way of data collection that is increasingly used in mental health research. That is why it is important to exchange knowledge and learn from each other. The aim of the network is to bring the expertise about experience sampling research in Belgium and the Netherlands together, take the research to an even higher level  and ultimately to contribute to a better mental health. For example, by developing new interventions.

About the Experience Sampling Method

The experience sampling method (ESM) is also referred to as the daily diary method or ecological momentary assessment (EMA). The method measures at the moment itself, instead of afterwards, and at several times a day in the daily life of an individual. The method can be implemented in various ways, for example by asking questions via pop-ups on smartphones or by using data from wearables, sensors or other digital biometers. In this way, the researcher can gain insight into the feelings, thoughts, behavior, environmental factors, heart rate, stress or sleep rhythm of individuals in daily life. The intensive longitudinal data collected with ESM provide new insights about mental health, for example about changes that occur within the individual and differences between persons. Knowing what works for one and not for the other and why, enables us to offer tailor-made interventions. This provides a new perspective on mental health care.

Annual Belgian-Dutch Experience Sampling Method Expert Network Meeting

Every year, the Belgian-Dutch network for experience sampling method research organizes a two-day meeting that is entirely devoted to experience sampling research in the field of mental health. During the closed meeting, experts from Belgium and the Netherlands from five universities come together to exchange their expertise and to explore and shape cooperation. This leads to joint products, such as The ESM Item Repository. The network endorses the importance of Open Science.

Participating Universities