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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 35 (1993) 10

New research

Patient education in chronic psychiatry

T.F. van Wel, P.P.M. Stapels, M.G.C. de Leeuw

The structural changes that are due to be effected in Dutch health care, together with new laws regarding medical treatment, underscore the importance of patient information. This article provides a definition of patient information in mental health care. It also presents the results of an exploratory investigation of the nature of desirable information for long-term patients in general psychiatric hospitals. Interviews with 82 patients and 21 hospital staff members were conducted. The patients, who regarded themselves primarily as `residents', attached the greatest importance to topics of relevance to daily life. The staff members, who viewed the recipients of long-term care both as residents and patients, considered information about the nature of psychiatric problems and their treatment to be equally as important as information about topics of daily life. The authors argue that good patient information requires a systematic approach, which means that its content, method and organization need to be given explicit consideration.

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