postdoctoral researcher | neuropsychology

Sara Bartels

Postdoctoral researcher

My current work focusses on the development, evaluation, and implementation of a digital behavioural health treatment for individuals with chronic pain.

About me

I am originally from Germany and moved abroad in 2016 to study in the Netherlands and the UK. My interest in human health motivated me to study (neuro-)psychology, gain experience in clinical practice through internships in care facilities and hospitals, and work in academia since 2017. 

During my PhD trajectory, I was part of 'INDUCT', a European, inter-sectorial training network, and my research focussed on technology and dementia (for details see link below).

Since September 2020, I work as a postdoctoral researcher for Karolinska Institutet (80%) and Maastricht University (20%). Through international collaborations, we work on the development, evaluation, and implementation of digital interventions and process-based treatment approaches for individuals with chronic pain and caregivers of people with dementia.

Research description

My research interests include: 

  • Momentary assessments, the experience sampling method, and other forms of (digital) self-monitoring and digital diaries to understand daily patterns and improve self-management
  • eHealth approaches (e.g. web-based programs, smartphone apps etc. to promote health)
  • Health as a holistic concept, including physical, emotional and social aspects
  • Management of chronic pain in everyday life
  • Complex interventions, behavioural changes mechanisms, effectiveness and implementation
  • Older adults with and without cognitive impairments (e.g. MCI, dementia, caregivers)

Teaching portfolio

Tutoring courses based on the Problem-Based Learning approach at Maastricht University


Bachelor of Science, Psychology; Medical School Hamburg, D

Master of Science, Neuropsychology; Maastricht University, NL

PhD; Maastricht University, NL

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Marie Curie Alumni