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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 62 (2020) 1, 18 - 26

Onderzoeksartikel

Prevention of stagnation of recovery processes and chronic problems in mental healthcare patients. A field consultation among Dutch experts

C.P.G. Couwenbergh, J. van Weeghel

background In the action plan ‘Crossing the bridge’ it has been proposed to realize a third less severe mental illness (smi). To this end, in addition to the provision of recovery oriented care to people belonging to the smi group, patients’ problems should be prevented from becoming chronic.
aim To conduct research into which mechanisms, according to Dutch experts, contribute to stagnated recovery processes and how chronicity can be prevented.
method In a field consultation, 34 experts from different subsectors of mental health care were interviewed.
results The experts identified many factors that could stagnate the recovery of mental illness. The improvement proposals differed widely, but there was consensus on some key principles for the prevention of chronicity. For example, everyone agreed that practitioners should find a balance between providing good care and maintaining patients’ own resources, encouraging patients’ strengths, involving their social network in treatment, and helping to prevent loss of work, study and relationships.
conclusion Many mental healthcare patients must receive integral care in an early stage in order to prevent far-reaching dependence on integrated care in a later stage. This requires that we involve family members and cooperate across sectors.

keywords chronicity, prevention, recovery, severe mental illness