Joint Action on Chronic Diseases

RIVM contributed to the key challenges for chronic disease prevention that were addressed in the Joint-Action CHRODIS-PLUS. RIVM was mandated to represent the Netherlands.

Europe is paying a heavy price for chronic diseases. It has been estimated that chronic diseases cost EU European Union (European Union) economies 115 billion € or 0.8% of GDP annually. CHRODIS PLUS was a high-level response from EU countries to step up the action and share best practices to alleviate the burden of chronic diseases. It builds on the outcomes of an earlier Joint Action, in which RIVM was also involved.

A total of 42 institutes and organisations participated in CHRODISPLUS, representing 26 EU countries plus Norway, Serbia and Iceland. The Joint Action was  built on four cornerstones:

  1. health promotion and primary prevention as a way to reduce the burden of chronic diseases
  2. patient empowerment
  3. tackling functional decline and quality of life as the main consequences of chronic diseases
  4. making health systems sustainable and responsive to the ageing of our populations associated with the epidemiological transition.

RIVM role

Workpackage Policy Dialogue (WP4) 

To identify policies or changes to existing policies and legislation that are capable of tackling major risk factors for chronic disease, the participating countries in this work package organised 16 policy dialogues. RIVM organised a policy dialogue about Intersectoral strategies to promote walking and cycling before, during and after work in the Netherlands to prevent NCD.  The aim of the dialogue was to discuss the contribution of the different stakeholders (different ministries and public and private partners) in effective strategies to promote physical exercise in relation to the workplace. The results of the Dutch Policy Dialogue can be found in this report. Based on the results of 16 dialogues and experiences with the implementation of 21 best practices regarding of prevention and treatment of chronic diseases the countries developed a consensus statement with the common lessons learned to tackle risk factors for chronic diseases. RIVM colleagues Lea den Broeder and Sandra van Oostrom organised the policy dialogue.

Workpackage Health promotion (WP5): task leader of task 5.3

RIVM has led the task to integrate health promotion approaches within other elements of the health (care) system, with a particular focus on inter and intra-sectoral collaboration. In collaboration with partners from other countries, RIVM has collected best practices and identified barriers and facilitators for success for inter and intra-sectoral collaboration. Based on these barriers and success factors, RIVM formulated a set of recommendations for intersectoral collaboration to strengthen health promotion and prevention on national and local  level (such as municipalities). More information about the process and results is available in the report and in an article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  The recommendations are also available in a short brochure in different languages (e.g. in Dutch). RIVM colleagues Djoeke van Dale, Marieke Hendriksen and Lidwien Lemmens contributed to this work package.

Workpackage Employment (WP8)

RIVM also participated in a work package (WP8) on employment, looking at ways to engage employers and maximise supportive workplace measures for people with chronic conditions. The main objective of this task was to develop and implement a toolkit to support employers to understand the benefits of health promotion at the workplace as well as workplace adaptation for persons with a chronic disease. RIVM colleagues Karin Proper and Sandra van Oostrom conducted a review on the effectiveness of workplace health promotion interventions on physical and mental health outcomes. Based on the systematic review and interviews with different stakeholders, such as employers, occupational health professionals and employees, regarding their experiences with (the implementation of) health promotion at the workplace or work adaptations, a toolkit for a Healthy Workplace was developed. The Toolkit for Employers consists of seven themes that are all important for the health and sustainable employability of their employees. Each theme contains different strategies, and for each strategy, suggestions are given for concrete measures to improve the health of employees within that theme. This video provides a short overview of the development and content of the Toolkit.

More information such as reports, video’s and brochures about the work and results on prevention and treatment of chronic diseases is available at


CHRODIS PLUS has received funding from the European Union, within the framework of the Health Programme (2014-2020).