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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 44 (2002) 9, 589 - 597

New research

The influence of psychiatric rehabilitation on the activity and participation level of chronic psychiatric patients: an effect study

T.F. van Wel, A.J.A. Felling, J.M.G. Persoon

background Environmental psychiatric rehabilitation is a central concept with respect to the innovation of living environments in general psychiatric hospitals. Normalization and smallscale are essential elements. Our research focuses on chronic psychiatric patients in such a hospital. Between 1992 and 1997, all of the living environments associated with this hospital underwent extensive transformation.
aim Testing of the theoretical environmental psychiatric rehabilitation model. This model explains the effect of environmental psychiatric rehabilitation on the activity and participation level of chronic psychiatric patients.
method We utilized a panel research method, based on data obtained from three measurements spread over seven years. These measurements related patients' living environment's normalization grade; patients' activity and participation level; patients' characteristics and diagnoses.
results Environmental psychiatric rehabilitation, particularly the normalization grade of the living environment, had a direct effect on patients' activity and participation level. This result is controlled for patients' prior activity and participation levels, and for age. The research also controlled for the fact that patients characterized by a higher activity and participation level, tend to be placed in more normal living environments.
conclusion The theoretical environmental psychiatric rehabilitation model is supported. Therefore the supposition that (environmental) psychiatric rehabilitation increases patients' activity and participation level is supported.

keywords activity, general psychiatric hospital, participation, psychiatric rehabilitation