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PhD ceremony Ms. J.A.J. van der Krieke: Patients in the driver’s seat. A role for e-mental health?

When:We 05-03-2014 at 16:15
Where:Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

PhD ceremony: Ms. J.A.J. van der Krieke

Dissertation: Patients in the driver’s seat. A role for e-mental health?

Promotor(s): prof. P. de Jonge, prof. M. Aiello

Faculty: Medical Sciences

This thesis explores the field of e-mental health for people with a psychotic disorder. E-mental health can be defined as the use of information and communication technology to improve mental health care. The main aim was twofold: to investigate current e-mental health interventions, and to develop and evaluate a web-based personalized advice system.

Results show that, although a variety of computer-based and web-based interventions have been developed for people with psychosis, the field of e-mental health is relatively underdeveloped in psychosis care. This underdevelopment is unfortunate as it might add to the growth of the ‘digital divide’, the gap between those who do and those who do not have access to computers and internet and know how to use them.

The key question of this thesis was whether or not e-mental health could play a role in putting patients in the driver’s seat. The answer is: yes, it can, but it might also have the opposite effect. This contradiction is reflected in the latest buzz word seamless care which is said to be ‘anywhere, anytime’. This form of care implies that service users have access to care 24/7 and can monitor and manage themselves continuously with all kinds of smart devices. It also implies that service users may subject themselves to a medical regime in which health is prioritized over all other values in life. As such, care is never far away. But also is being a patient.

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