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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 52 (2010) 10, 683 - 694

New research

Rehabilitation research in the Netherlands; research review and synthesis of recent findings

H. Michon, J. van Weeghel

background Interventions aimed at encouraging people with severe mental illnesses (including drug addiction) to participate in social activities are on the increase. Over the last few years the Netherlands has increased its research into the effectiveness of these interventions. However, there are considerable gaps in our knowledge and the research results need to be synthesised.
aim To synthesise the information collected in recent years concerning the results of these rehabilitation programmes and interventions.
method We performed a systematic review of research databases, focusing on Dutch research (2000 to 2007). With regard to the interventions, we evaluated whether an ideal ‘knowledge cycle’ had been established (i.e. problem exploration, intervention development, evaluation, systematic implementation and wider dissemination).
results We found 29 studies of interventions that aimed primarily at societal participation by people with severe mental illness; 23 of these studies were complete. According to a longitudinal comparative controlled study, the most effective interventions were the Boston psychiatric rehabilitation approach, individual placement and support and ‘guided peer support’. However, the required ‘knowledge cycle’ as specified in the Method section, had not been completed in the case of any of the interventions.
conclusion Both the range and the quality of research info the effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes have improved tremendously. In the Netherlands over the last decade, in order to complete the above-mentioned knowledge cycle, a new research agenda needs to be established. We propose some items for this agenda.

keywords community integration, knowledge synthesis, rehabilitation, review, severe mental illness.