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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 60 (2018) 9, 627 - 636


The patient’s perspective on the self-management and professional treatment of depression

R.A. van Grieken, A.H. Schene

background More than two-thirds of all patients suffering from depression experience insufficient improvement despite treatment. Self-management strategies and treatment objectives should be more in line with what patients consider to be helpful. This would improve the treatment efficacy of domains relevant to patients and allow for self-management of depression where possible.
aim To explore the patient’s perspective on self-management and professional treatment for depression.
method Predominantly qualitative methods: in-depth individual interviews, concept mapping (mixed method) and a nationwide self-report survey.
results Participants generated 50 self-management strategies addressing themes such as engaging in activities (e.g. ‘leaving the house regularly’), focus on the diagnosis depression (e.g. ‘acceptation’) and treatment (e.g. ‘trusting the therapist’), remaining socially engaged (e.g. ‘informing family about the depression’) and good structure and self-care (e.g. ‘setting realistic goals’). A lack of clarity and consensus about either the nature of the depression or the content of treatment and a precarious relationship with the professional were perceived as impeding characteristics of treatment.
conclusion Patients appear to be able to contribute actively and in various ways when managing their own mental health. By exploring the patient’s perspectives, professionals could offer treatment established through shared goals.

keywords concept mapping, depression, patients perspective, recovery, self-management