A European Project on
Human Rights and Physical Health
of Residents in Psychiatric and Social Care Institutions
Funded by
the European Commission, DG Sanco
a project funded by the European Commission

Catholic University Leuven - LUCAS, Leuven, BE

LUCAS is a multidisciplinary research centre of the Catholic University Leuven. Its objectives are: research, training and consultancy in the field of mental health care, welfare and international solidarity. LUCAS was founded in 1988 as an interface between the Catholic University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven) and Caritas Catholica Vlaanderen.

LUCAS conducts research in a wide range of topics and plays along with actuality and policy in the sectors to which it is directed. A specialisation concerning some research themes exists: the care for (demented) elderly, mental health care, quality of care, youth care, care of the disabled and mobbing. In these domains, more or less long-term or subsequent research projects are realised.

LUCAS is specialised in practice and policy related research. The question of the customer is always the starting point. The interfaces between the different projects lead to fundamental visions, answers or solutions concerning generic policy problems. Moreover, we strive to develop products that bear the scrutiny of international scientific quality criteria. Witnesses of this are the international publications and presentations. Training and service activities have become important pillars of LUCAS. They are aimed at translating the gathered research findings in usable instruments, at supporting the different care sectors in working methodologically and at implementing scientific sound changes.

As of January 2007, the Support Centre of Welfare, Public Health and Family was established. Its aims are:
  1. To acquire insight and knowledge about the prevalence of problems, with special attention to specific target groups,
  2. To acquire insight in the results of the care and prevention offer,
  3. To formulate policy recommendations concerning the issuing of rules, organisational forms and network development
  4. To develop a knowledge and documentation centre for policy related research

Mission Statement

The mission of this centre involves research, training and services related to care.

LUCAS specializes in practice- and policy-oriented research. Research projects are commissioned by diverse organizations and authorities and cover a broad range of topics, currently divided into four main research domains:
  1. Care for the elderly
  2. Mental Health Care
  3. Welfare
  4. Doctor-patient communication

LUCAS also participates in several international networks.

Important research themes and topics within one or more domains are: innovations in care, needs and care assessment, the prevention of depression and suicide, communication and patient participation, balanced care for severe and enduring mentally ill persons, innovations in welfare, etc.

In addition, LUCAS coordinates the knowledge and research platform on health care and social welfare . This platform was initiated to improve the collaboration between the Catholic University of Leuven and the associated Flemish institutions of higher education and to join forces with respect to research on health care and social welfare.
Finally, LUCAS hosts the policy research centre for welfare, health and family a comprehensive five year research program funded by the Flemish government with the aim of supporting the Flemish minister of welfare, health and family in pursuing a thorough, effective, innovative and inclusive policy on the basis of scientific research results.

Research findings are translated in training programmes to support caregivers in their daily practice and make a contribution to desirable changes in the policy of organizations and networks. In addition, LUCAS offers consultancy by providing evidence-based methodologies, useful tools, effective implementation strategies, etc. to a variety of interested public and private bodies.

Team Members

Research Assistants:
Administrative Assistants:


LUCAS, K.U.Leuven
Kapucijnenvoer 35
3000 Leuven
Phone: +32 16 33 69 10
Fax: +32 16 33 69 22
Email: lucas(at)med.kuleuven.be