Joint Action on Chronic Diseases

RIVM participated in JA-CHRODIS, a European Joint Action addressing Chronic Diseases and healthy ageing across the life cycle. Our institute, including RIVM Centre for Healthy Living, contributed to the work package on health promotion and disease prevention.

This WP aimed to identify highly promising, cost-effective and evaluated health promotion and chronic disease prevention practices (among elderly). In addition, it aimed to promote the exchange, scaling up, and transfer of effective approaches to different regions and countries.

Final conference

The final conference of JA-CHRODIS was held in Brussels in February 2017. Ahead of his key note speech at the conference, Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stated that.

“More than half a million people of working age die prematurely from chronic diseases in the EU European Union (European Union) every year. This represents a huge cost for society and economy – EUR 115 billion in lost productivity and major health systems’ expenditure. Of course, an even greater cost is that of pain and suffering for the family and friends. This is why I will never tire of speaking about health promotion, disease prevention and protection measures to keep people in good health, and for as long as possible. Participation of all relevant stakeholders is also key.  JA-CHRODIS is an example of such participation, collaboration and cooperation. Through a range of concrete actions it has made an important contribution to address the challenges posed by chronic diseases and to make health systems more sustainable, efficient and resilient.”


At the  JA-CHRODIS final conference, clear steps towards addressing the broad chronic disease challenges were presented to policy makers, researchers and international organisations and NGOs.

  • CHRODIS launched the ‘12 steps’ document setting out recommended actions for scaling up, transfer, and implementation of practices in order to ultimately reduce the burden of chronic diseases. The 12 steps may be a valuable and practical tool to inspire and guide health care professionals and policy makers in the work on the promotion of healthy ageing as well as prevention, management and care of chronic diseases.
  • Other valuable outputs of the JA-CHRODIS are the CHRODIS platform, which is an online repository of peer-reviewed good practices, a Policy Brief on National Diabetes Plans (NDPs), the multimorbiditycare model which is already piloted in the Netherlands (NIVEL) and  transferability factors for good practices in health promotion and primary prevention.

Contribution of RIVM

RIVM contributed to this Joint Action on behalf of the Dutch ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in the work package on health promotion.

  • RIVM prepared a report on the current situation concerning work to prevent chronic diseases in the Netherlands.
  • RIVM contributed to the development of criteria to assess good practice interventions related to chronic conditions.
  • Based on these criteria, RIVM described three best practices from the Netherlands in the field of health promotion: Do-it (prevention of overweight among prevocational educational school children by improving energy-balance-related behaviour), Sociaal Vitaal (intervention programme for community-dwelling, sedentary frail older adults in deprived areas) and JOGG (programme which encourages all people in a city, town or neighbourhood to make healthy food and exercise an easy and attractive lifestyle option for young people (0-19 years). These best practices are included in a report on good practices, which contains 41 good practice examples from 13 partner countries. Some examples of these good practice examples can be found at the website The CHRODIS platform includes the three Dutch best practices, assessed as ‘best practice’.
  • RIVM organised and participated in study visits to share experiences among the participants. The study visits covered a range of selected criteria, such as sustainability, equity, target groups, evaluation, governance and potential of scalability. RIVM organised the study visit to JOGG as well as a study visit to introduce the good practice database, Health Promotion Study Visit 1&2 (the Netherlands), to several interested parties. RIVM participated in a study visit to Well-London, Health Promotion Study Visit 6 (UK),  and to the National Curriculum Guides on Health and Well-Being in Iceland, Health Promotion Study Visit 4 (Iceland).
  • RIVM contributed to the report that provide recommendations to project managers, policy makers, stakeholders and practitioners on what needs to be taken into consideration when scaling-up or transferring existing practices and what factors help to make the implementation successful in different contexts (Report on transferability).