Sil Aarts (S.)

Sil is a psychologist, with a master in neuropsychology. Her PhD trajectory, which was conducted at two different research schools of the University of Maastricht (i.e. department of General Practice and the department of Mental Health and Neuroscience), focused on multimorbidity, i.e. the co-occurrence of two or more chronic conditions within one person, and the adverse health effects thereof. In addition, her PhD focused on analyzing large amounts of data with innovative analyzing techniques such as data-and text mining. In 2010, she worked for 4 months at the National Institute on Ageing (part of National Institutes of Health, NIH), in Bethesda, Maryland, where she conducted a study on the co-occurrence of multimorbidity, disability and frailty. She also published several articles regarding statistical significance during her PhD (e.g. ‘The insignificance of statistical significance’).


In 2012, she declined a post-doc position in order to become a researcher and teacher at Fontys, a university of applied sciences. There, her focus was on how technology could improve quality of care. More specifically, on how technology could aid aging-in-place. During these years, she, together with her colleagues, conducted longitudinal qualitative research including in-depth interviews with community-dwelling older adults. From 2013 to 2018, she was a member of the Fontys Ethical Committee, in which research proposals were checked regarding ethical scientific guidelines. She co-wrote a book entitled ‘Ethiek van praktijkgericht onderzoek: zonder ethiek is het al moeilijk genoeg’.


In 2018, it was time for her to come back to the University of Maastricht to work as an assistant professor at the department of Health Services Research. Her research is focused on maintaining and increasing quality of care, life and work in long-term care, for example by deploying data-exploration methods such as text-mining.

Her love for analyzing methods (traditional statistical methods as well as more innovative approaches such as data-science techniques), is apparent throughout her academic career and therefore plays an important role in her current research.


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Keywords: quality of care, nursing home science, technology in healthcare, data, statistics, R(stats), qualitative research.

ORCID: 0000-0002-3121-412X