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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2012;156(19):A4337.

[Patients' perspective on self-management during recovery from depression].

[Article in Dutch]

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Academisch Medisch Centrum, afd. Psychiatrie, Zorglijn Stemmingsstoornissen, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



To investigate what patients themselves think they can contribute to recovery from depression, and what they find to be effective. The patients' perspective is necessary to improve treatment for depression.


Qualitative, hypothesis-generating study.


The experiences and opinions of 20 patients who had recently recovered from a depressive episode were investigated using the 'concept mapping' method. In the first stage, patients generated statements during group discussions around the question: 'What can people themselves do to recover from depression?' In the second stage, patients individually graded the statements by relevance and grouped them by common characteristics. In the third stage, the statements were analysed and positioned in a concept map.


In the first stage, the patients generated 50 statements which could be grouped into the following 8 clusters: active attitude towards depression and the assistance offered, regimen, explanation of the disease to acquaintances, social contacts, undertaking activities, structured attention for yourself, contact with fellow sufferers, and others. The common factor in statements that patients found the most important was that the focus for recovery should be on oneself.


From the patients' perspective several methods were mentioned by which patients can contribute to their own recovery from depression. Practitioners could use these in their contact with the patient during treatment. This study also provides the basis for developing a self-management module for recovery from depression.

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