With PETRA, we aim to implement the experience sampling method (ESM) in psychiatric care. To that end, we are developing a web-based interface that will be integrated in patients’ electronic health record. PETRA helps clinicians and patients to construct a personalized ESM diary together and visualizes the gathered data in a clinically relevant way.


PETRA can be used by adults currently in treatment for psychopathology at mental health care institutions in the Northern provinces of The Netherlands. Focus lies on patients with affective, anxiety or psychotic complaints. Clinicians that can use PETRA are psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurses.


Research shows that ESM can have many advantages for patients and clinicians.

For patients, personalized diaries can help to:

  • Gain insight into when you have complaints and how you can deal with them
  • Boost self-management
  • Regain a sense of control over your well-being and treatment

For clinicians, personalized diaries can help to:

  • Guide decisions on the direction of treatment
  • Gain insight in patients’ experiences outside the therapy room
  • Make traditional behavioral registration more efficient and detailed