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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 44 (2002) 3, 173 - 182

Review article

Whither Quality?

E.M. Bisseling, J.M. Havenaar, B. Heemskerk

background In a former article we concluded that 'quality of care' is a key concept within a new paradigm in the health sciences. Within this paradigm health care is regarded in its totality. Structures, processes and outcomes of care are the focus of attention of research, taking into account the perspectives of various stakeholders. In recent years research in this area has increased tremendously.
aim To provide an overview of scientific publications on quality of care and healthcare research in the field of mental health.
method Key publications on this topic were used, as well as a Medline search (1995-now).
results and conclusion Research on quality of care is largely in the phase of conceptualising, theorising and observing. Research instruments and methodologies are still little developed. The patient's perspective is not often included in research. Evaluation studies on the effects of quality improvement interventions and studies on effective implementation strategies are still rare, too. Much more than currently is the case, such evaluation studies should form the basis for further interventions in the organisation of mental health care.

keywords quality of care, review