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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 45 (2003) 1, 15 - 26

New research

Individual psychiatric rehabilitation of chronic psychiatric patients: an open study

W.E. Swildens, A.J. van Keijzerswaard, T.F. van Wel, G.J.J. de Valk, M.W. Valenkamp

background  Rehabilitation becomes increasingly important in mental health care. The aim of the Anthony's psychiatric rehabilitation (PR) approach is to help psychiatric patients gain insight into their future goals in the areas of living, work/daily activities, learning, and social contacts, and to attain these goals. Currently little research has been done into PR.
aim  This article reports on research into the experience of workers and patients using PR in a region of The Netherlands.
method  During a two-year period we followed 58 patients and their rehabilitation workers. We used the following outcome measures in an open pre/post design: attainment of patients goals, daily functioning, experienced autonomy, quality of life, and the match between the care needed and the care given.
results  The workers actually did use the trained rehabilitation activities. Of the patients 57% succeeded in their goals; 21% for example, left hospital to live independently and 12% found a paid job. These successful patients in particular, showed an improvement in daily functioning and experienced an improvement in their quality of life. The length of the rehabilitation period was a predictor for goal attainment.
conclusion  The first positive results stress the importance of further development of the psychiatric rehabilitation model, preferably in combination with a randomised study. 


keywords long-term mental illness, rehabilitation