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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 58 (2016) 12, 863 - 871

Review article

The quality of life of patients in long-term forensic psychiatric care

S.H.H. Schel, Y.H.A. Bouman, P.C. Braun, B.H. Bulten

background Quality of life (QoL) is an important issue in long term forensic psychiatric care (lfpc).
aim To provide an overview of the knowledge that has been obtained over the last few years about patients' QoL in lfpc.
method The quality of life in lfpc has been researched every year since 2007. The research has involved the use of the Forensic Inpatient Quality of Life Questionnaire (fql) which was developed specifically for patients in lfpc. During the longitudinal research project several studies were conducted in order to identify some of the factors that possibly define patients’ QoL.
results The QoL of patients in lfpc seems to depend less on patient characteristics and more on the environmental circumstances and on the degree to which the patients have accepted these circumstances. Research has also shown that professional carers do not seem to be sufficiently aware of the QoL of their patients.
conclusion The fact that it is mainly environmental circumstances that are being associated with QoL offers a positive perspective on improving/optimizing QoL of patients in lfpc. Professional carers could, for instance, be trained to discuss QoL with their patients in a structured manner. This would enable carers to identify potential aspects that require further improvement and to optimise these aspects in discussion with their patients.

keywords environmental circumstances, long term forensic psychiatric care, patient characteristics, Quality of life