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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 40 (1998) 8, 480 - 491

Review article

The new alliance between psychiatry and old age; Dutch special literature between 1900 and 1995

P.B.M. Robben, G.J.M. Hutschemaekers

In this article the development of the elderly psychiatry is investigated. How did the four building blocks (scientific research, targetgroup, categorical provisions and professionals) developed into a new field of expertise?
In the three researched journals, between 1900 and 1995, there have been four periods with relatively much attention for the joint subjects of 'elderly' and 'psychiatry'. During these periods, most of the thesis on these subjects have been written.
Analysis of the contents of the articles and thesis published during the four periods show, that in scientific research no new lines of thinking developed. During the total period, age was seen as a pathogenetic and pathoplastic factor and no specific psychiatric diseases of the elderly were mentioned. The patients evolved between 1900 and 1995 from a 'regulair' patient into a 'target group'. From 1950 on categoric provisions for the age group were developed.
Specialising and professionalising of the therapists and scientists took place between 1980 and 1995. The professionals joined the three other building blocks. This has been of decisive importance for the developement of the psychiatry of the elderly.