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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 18 (1976) 1, 420 - 433

Korte bijdrage

Verwijzing vanuit het psychiatrisch ziekenhuis naar pleeggezin en gezinsverpleging

R.A. Pierloot, M. Demarsin

Referring to a foster family is considered as an opportunity to discharge from the psychiatrie hospital some patients not disposing of a natural milieu adapted to receive them. In our experience of the last years we distinguish two types of referring to foster families. In one type, individual foster families function as a replacing milieu without any professional task nor organizing links. Treatment, mainly psychotherapy, is looked after by the therapists who have been resposible for the patient during his hospital stay. Patients chosen for this form of care were mostly younger persons presenting more or less severe personality disorder and having been enlisted in an in-patient psychotherapeutic programme during one year. Although the actual results are rather mediocre (on 16 cases two committed suicide and five are still staying at the hospital after readmission), we think that, with a more strict selection and preparing of patients as well as foster families, this procedure can be a helpful tool in psychiatrie care. In the other type, the facilities offered by the foster family care organization in Geel were used. In the Geel community, foster family care, based on a 500-years-old tradition, is supervised by psychiatrists and nurses. These also dispose of a tentral hospital for observation and crisis intervention if necessary. Between 1968 and 1974 a group of 64 chronic patients (with ± 10 years of hospital stay) mostly middle-aged, stabilized schizophrenics and personality disorders on the basis of mental retardation, for whom returning to their natural milieu seemed excluded have been transferred to this setting of foster family care. In this group, 49 became relatively well integrated. While their clinical state remained almost unchanged, the social functioning of a large majority (80-85%) can be considered as enriched and more differentiated. These results illustrate the possibilities of this form of care to avoid a lifelong hospitalization with progressive mental impoverishment.