Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology in Groningen: past and future
A careful examination of the work of the social psychiatrist Giel and his collaborators showed that their best scientific achievements involve the development of classifications and instruments, the advancement and analysis of longitudinal data, the confrontation of the stress-vulnerability model with data, and the evaluation of mental health care and interventions. Despite their strong national and international reputation, it is concluded that the heterogeneity of their work may turn against them and become a disadvantage. Therefore, the authors strongly suggest that their expertise and efforts become concentrated on a limited theory-driven research program focussing on three aspects of two psychiatric disorders: depression and schizophrenia. The aspects concern etiology in a life-time perspective with a focus on chronicity and recurrency, development and evaluation of clinical guidelines, and quality of life.