Patient Centered Professionalism? Patient Participation in Mental Health Professional Frameworks


  • Aukje Leemeijer HAN University of Applied Sciences
  • Margo Trappenburg University of Humanistic Studies/Utrecht School of Governance



Patient participation is an important development in Dutch mental health care. Notwithstanding a generally positive attitude towards patient participation, mental health professionals show ambivalent responses to it due to tensions that may occur between professional values and societal values like (more) patient participation. Professionals vary in their degree of professionalization which is translated to their formal professional frameworks like professional profiles and codes of conduct. To explore how formal professional frameworks of mental health professionals mirror how and to what degree they accommodate patient participation the professional frameworks of four types of mental health care professionals were studied: psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and social workers. We hypothesized that the higher professionalized professions were less open to patient participation. The results partly support this hypothesis. Professional frameworks of social workers and nurses indeed show more openness to patient participation, but the picture for psychiatrists and psychologists is ambiguous—more professionalized psychiatrists being more inclined to incorporate patient participation than less professionalized psychologists.


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How to Cite

Leemeijer, A., & Trappenburg, M. (2016). Patient Centered Professionalism? Patient Participation in Mental Health Professional Frameworks. Professions and Professionalism, 6(2), e1474.

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