Inaugural lecture: Shared decision-making as the basis for good mental health care

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Shared decision-making is of great value in aligning care with patient preferences and values. Also in mental health care this "collaborative decision-making" is an essential ingredient of often longer-term therapeutic treatment relationships with patients and their loved ones. Particularly in the care of people with severe mental illness, this is an extra big task, but there are many gains to be made here.

This is what psychiatrist and professor Koen Grootens argues in his inaugural lecture "Deciding together under high pressure," on May 26 at Tilburg University.

Continuity and quality of care

In his lecture, Koen Grootens explains why the implementation of joint decision-making in the care of people with severe mental illness is so complex and makes recommendations to make the specialized mental health care ’as shared as possible’. For example, by more emphasis on continuity and quality of long-term treatment relationships with patients and their loved ones in a stable mental health care setting. He points to the need for more structural reflection on the work floor and the development of specific (digital) decision aids for customized care. There are also societal challenges to combat stigmatization.

Science and practice

In his chair, Koen Grootens researches how joint decision making in mental health care can best be achieved. He wants to contribute to innovations in this area and advocates linking research questions and methods more closely to issues from clinical practice. Finally, he makes a case for giving joint decision-making a more prominent place in professional training for social workers.