Testimonial PhD candidate Laura Hochstenbach

Laura HochstenbachMy PhD

I am currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Health Services Research. After finishing the CAPHRI Health Sciences Research Master’s programme and working as a junior advisor on projects related to cancer care, I feel this PhD project combines the best of both experiences. I am keen to further my learning and to open up new horizons. I like the challenge of managing my own long-term project with its corresponding responsibilities. By cooperating with different professionals within different disciplines and different organisations I am learning to see things from another perspective. I enjoy working with patients, being close to daily practice, and contributing to improvements in health care.

My project

My project includes the development and testing of a telemonitoring intervention for patients living with cancer pain in their home situation. Pain is one of the most prevalent and distressing symptoms in patients with cancer. For many different reasons - on organisational, health professional and patient levels - one out of two patients does not receive adequate pain relief. Pain has an enormous impact on the functioning of patients and may result in anxiety and depression. By means of this intervention patients will be supported in pain self-management at home whilst health professionals will be able to monitor their patients more closely and to tailor treatment as needed.

My supervision

Within my PhD project I benefit from the opportunity to develop further as an independent researcher. I am encouraged to follow my own track with regard to research, writing and education. My daily supervisors are supportive in providing constructive feedback and advice and next to me being a researcher there is always room for me as a person. Meetings within my research group and with other PhD candidates offer me great opportunities to exchange ideas. Working in such an environment, together with enthusiastic and experienced co-researchers, is inspiring. And when I get stuck or encounter problems, it is good to know that CAPHRI staff members are always available to support me.

My ambitions

After finishing my PhD, I would like to continue with research, preferably within a multidisciplinary setting and close to daily practice. Within health care, there are many opportunities; some things currently work well while others definitely need improvement. Developments in demographics, science and technology will require us to devise creative, or sometimes even very straightforward, solutions. I would like to contribute from both a practical and a research perspective.