Individual Study / NESDA

Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety

Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety

NESDA logo
Initiatives -
Depression and anxiety disorders are common at all ages. Approximately one out of three people in the Netherlands will be faced with them at some time during their lives. It is still not clear why some people recover quickly and why others suffer for long periods of time. The Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) was therefore designed to investigate the course of depression and anxiety disorders over a period of several years. The main aim of NESDA is to determine the (psychological, social, biological and genetic) factors that influence the development and the long-term prognosis of anxiety and depression. Objectives: * describe the long-term course and consequences of depressive and anxiety disorders, * to integrate biological and psychosocial research paradigms withinan epidemiological approach in order to examine (interaction between) predictors of the long-term course and consequences ****
Start Year
Funded through the Geestkracht programme of the Dutch Scientific Organization (ZON-MW, grant number10-000-1002) and matching funds from participating universities and mental health care organizations (VU University Medical Centre, GGZ Buitenamstel, GGZ Geestgronden, Leiden University Medical Centre, GGZ Rivierduinen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Lentis, GGZ Friesland, GGZ Drenthe).


Investigators Contacts
  • Dr. Prof. Brenda Penninx
    Amsterdam UMC


Study design
Follow Up
Six time points: The one-year follow-up (2005) assessment consists of a written questionnaire containing the most important self-report instruments to determine demographic changes, recent life events and the course and consequences of anxiety and depression symptoms. The two-year follow-up (2006) assessment consists of a face-to-face clinic visit, in which baseline assessments – except those concerning stable concepts – are repeated. The four-year and eight-year follow-up assessments were done in 2008 and 2012, respectively. In 2019 the 7th measurement started.

Marker Paper

Penninx BWJH, Beekman ATF, Smit JH, et al. The Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA): rationale, objectives and methods. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2008;17(3):121-40. doi:10.1002/mpr.256

PUBMED 18763692


Sources of Recruitment
  • Individuals

Number of participants

Number of participants
Number of participants with biosamples
Supplementary Information
Age range 18–65 years. In 2014 we added a few smaller studies to NESDA: the sibling study, an extension of our research population with 367 brothers and sisters of NESDA participants, the EMA-study to look at daily fluctuations in mood using smartphones and an extension of our imaging (MRI) study.


Availability of data and biosamples


Availability of access information

On the study website :