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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 59 (2017) 8, 466 - 473

Review article

Using resource groups in assertive community treatment; literature review and recommendation

M. Smeerdijk, PH.A.E.G. Delespaul, I.P.M. Keet, M.A. Nugter

background In psychiatry there is an increasing interest in giving patients and their relatives control over the goals of treatment and the way in which treatment is carried out. A structural method of organising this within assertive community treatment (act) is to let patients and their relatives participate in what is known as a resource group (rg).
aim To provide a systematic view of the advantages of giving patients control over their treatment and the way in which it is carried out via act, particularly if this control is organised in the form of an rg.
method We reviewed the relevant literature on the basis of search instructions in the databases of PubMed and Cochrane Library. We found nine trials that had a randomised controlled design (rct). Only one of these rcts involved the use of an rg in act.
results The approaches used in act, whereby patients with schizophrenia had control over their treatment, led to significant improvements that were considerably greater than those achieved in standard care. Improvements were found in symptomatology, social functioning and in the quality of life. There are indications that treatment satisfaction and social functioning improve still further if patients’ control over their treatment is organised in an rg.
conclusion Research demonstrates that positive results are achieved with act whereby patients have control over their treatment and the way in which it is carried out. However, further research is needed to determine whether this addition to act in the form of an rg is superior to other approaches used previously in act, particularly if it concerns the inclusion of an rg.

keywords family-intervention, resource groups, shared decision-making