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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 51 (2009) 2, 75 - 86

New research

A randomised clinical trial on the effectiveness of a re-integration training after short-term inpatient psychotherapy

M.M. Thunnissen, H.J. Duivenvoorden, J. van Busschbach, L. Hakkaart-Van Roijen, W. van Tilburg, R. Verheul, W. Trijsburg †

Standardised evaluation studies performed in the Netherlands in a large number of inpatient and day-treatment hospitals providing psychotherapy have shown significant symptomatic improvements in patients between the date of entry to the studies and follow-up after one year. However, the work situation of ex-patients hardly changed and a large number of patients were still receiving psychotherapy.
aim To examine the effectiveness of a specifically designed course of re-integration training.
method A group of 128 patients were assigned randomly either to a re-integration training course aimed at improved functioning at work and improved relationships, or to booster sessions. Outcome measures were symptom level, work status, absence from work, and further psychotherapy.
results After two years the number of patients in paid employment remained the same (76%) in the re-integration training course and increased from 67 to 87% in the booster sessions. Attendance was significantly higher in the booster sessions than in the re-integration training. There were no differences in the other outcome measures.
conclusion We conclude that re-integration training was no more effective than the booster sessions. Our hypothesis is that continuity of care (therapists plus programme) explains the favourable result of the booster sessions.

keywords aftercare, effectiveness, inpatient psychotherapy, personality disorder