Marilisa Boffo is assistant professor in clinical psychology and eHealth at the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Trained as a clinical psychologist and research methodologist, she combines the two worlds into the design and empirical investigation of digital interventions for behavior change.
The core focus of her research across her career has been the translation of behavioral science insights into creative digital solutions to bring tangible influence in the lives of the people engaging with them. This also transpires in the contents of the courses she coordinates (i.e., Design of Digital Interventions master course). In the past 10 years, her applied research has evolved around leveraging the power and affordances of digital technology to bring a positive impact. She recently launched together with an exciting team of colleagues at the Erasmus University Rotterdam the Wellbeing and Virtual Environments Lab (Wave Lab), an interdisciplinary team of behavioral scientists and designers collectively bringing behavioral science, design, and technology to stimulate positive behavioral change and wellbeing in people's lives.
During her PhD, Marilisa focused on the validity of implicit measures in psychopathology and, in collaboration with Prof. Reinout Wiers and the AdaptLab at the University of Amsterdam, explored the innovative application of these measures, creating digital training interventions in support of cognitive control in the field of alcohol addiction (i.e., Cognitive Bias Modification interventions). She further specialized in the design and systematic evaluation of digital interventions for behavior change, implementing a diverse spectrum of behavior change techniques, interventions, and approaches within a digital environment, primarily in the alcohol and gambling addiction field. This included the design and evaluation of a portfolio of web and/or mobile serious games in collaboration with the Technological University of Deft (NL), mental health care institutions, and a serious games company (&RanJ). In collaboration with Prof. Reinout Wiers, she started a line of research into the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying gambling addiction (e.g., approach bias) and on designing and testing novel interventions for problematic gambling (e.g., CBM, web-based motivational feedback, e-CBT). She has recently expanded the focus of interventions not only for secondary prevention of gambling problems, but also for primary and indicated prevention promoting responsible gambling practices for all gamblers.
Next to her research work in the digital behavior change field, Marilisa is the coordinator of the master track in Health Psychology and Digital Interventions, in collaboration with Prof. Semiha Denktas and Dr. Paul Kocken, and coordinator and teacher of two courses: Design of Digital Interventions and Research Methods for Behavior Change.
Since 2019, Marilisa has taken up the role of Academic Leader of the EUR Student Wellbeing Program, a university wide initiative devoted to the promotion and support of students' wellbeing, (mental) health and student success during their journey along their university years.
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
- Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam
- Panote Siriaraya, Valentijn Visch, Marilisa Boffo, Renske Spijkerman, Reinout Wiers, Kees Korrelboom, Vincent Hendriks, Elske Salemink, Marierose van Dooren, Michael Bas & Richard Goossens (2021) - Game design in mental health care: Case study–based framework for integrating game design into therapeutic content - Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Serious Games, 9 (4) - doi: 10.2196/27953 - [link]
- Si Wen, Reinout W. Wiers, Marilisa Boffo, Raoul P.P.P. Grasman, Thomas Pronk & Helle Larsen (2021) - Subtypes of smokers in a randomized controlled trial of a web-based smoking cessation program and their role in predicting intervention non-usage attrition: Implications for the development of tailored interventions - Internet Interventions, 26 - doi: 10.1016/j.invent.2021.100473 - [link]
- Reinout W. Wiers, Oulmann Zerhouni, Tess den Uyl & Marilisa Boffo (2020) - Cognitive bias modification in the treatment of addiction - doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-815298-0.00017-4 - [link]
- S Wen, H Larsen, Marilisa Boffo, RPPP Grasman, T Pronk, JBG van Wijngaarden & RW Wiers (2020) - Combining web-based attentional bias modification and approach bias modification as a self-help smoking intervention for adult smokers seeking online help: double-blind randomized controlled trial - JMIR Mental Health, 7 (5) - doi: 10.2196/16342 - [link]
- Marilisa Boffo, O Zerhouni, QF Gronau, RJJ van Beek, K Nikolaou, M Marsman & RW Wiers (2019) - Cognitive Bias Modification for Behavior Change in Alcohol and Smoking Addiction: Bayesian Meta-Analysis of Individual Participant Data - Neuropsychology Review, 29 (1), 52-78 - doi: 10.1007/s11065-018-9386-4 - [link]
- B Otkhmezuri, Marilisa Boffo, P Siriaraya, M Matsangidou, RW Wiers, B Mackintosh, CS Ang & E Salemink (2019) - Believing is seeing: A proof-of-concept semi experimental study on using mobile virtual reality to boost the effects of interpretation bias modification for anxiety - JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 6 (2) - doi: 10.2196/11517 - [link]
- L Snippe, Marilisa Boffo, SH Stewart, G Dom & RW Wiers (2019) - Innovative Treatment Approaches in Gambling Disorder - doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-03060-5_10 - [link]
- Stefania Mannarini, Marilisa Boffo, Alessandro Rossi & Laura Balottin (2018) - Etiological beliefs, treatments, stigmatizing attitudes towards schizophrenia: What do Italians and Israeli think? - Frontiers in Psychology, 8 - doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02289 - [link]
- Marilisa Boffo, R Smits, JP Salmon, ME Cowie, DTHA de Jong, E Salemink, P Collins, SH Stewart & RW Wiers (2018) - Luck, come here! Automatic approach tendencies toward gambling cues in moderate-to-high risk gamblers. - Addiction, 113 (2), 289-298 - doi: 10.1111/add.14071 - [link]
- RW Wiers, Marilisa Boffo & M Field (2018) - What's in a Trial? A Conceptual Framework for Reviewing the Effects of Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) in the Treatment of Addiction and a Narrative Review of the effects of CBM on Alcohol use. - Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 79 (3), 333-343 - doi: 10.15288/jsad.2018.79.333 - [link]
4.2 Design of digital interventions
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4.2 Research methods in behavior change
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