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Practice guidelines and standards of care in mental health care
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  • Jan Spijker,
  • Janneke Wentink-van de Laar ,
  • Anneke Huson,
  • Aart Schene
Jan Spijker
Pro Persona Mental Health Care,
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Janneke Wentink-van de Laar
Alliance Quality in mental health care (Akwa GGZ),
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Anneke Huson
Dutch Depression Association
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Aart Schene
Radboudumc
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Abstract

Aims Clinical guidelines have made an impact on the quality of care but recently their drawbacks became more visible. In this article standards of care are introduced as a new and further step in de development of clinical guidelines in the Netherlands Methods An historical overview of guideline and care standard development and an example of the standard for depressive disorders are presented Results Standards of care describe in general terms from the perspective of the patient what good care is for people with a certain mental disorder during the entire care continuum, the patient journey. They describe for all parties in the mental health care system what is necessary in the care process. Generic standards describe healthcare components or healthcare topics that are relevant to multiple mental disorders More than 40 standards of care/generic standards have been developed. Conclusions Standards of care seem to be a solution for the problem of different and sometimes conflicting monodisciplinary guidelines, the limited scope of the monodisciplinary guidelines and the omission of clinical expertise and patients preferences in the clinical guidelines. However implementing the new set of comprehensive standards of care will be a challenge.