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Citizenship and Humanisation of the Public Sector

A critical analysis of the use of 'Family Group Decision Making' in rehabilitation treatment

  • Start: April 2015
  • Status: ongoing
Full title of the research project is: A critical analysis of the implementation of Family Group Decision Making in rehabilitation treatment medicine, about experienced barriers/facilitators, social support needs and caregiver burden.


To facilitate the transition for a rehabilitation centre to home, revalidating individuals were offered Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) meetings. These were meetings supervised by a social worker, through which a patient’s social network (family, friends, etc.) is involved in the revalidation process at an early stage.

There was not much interest for these meetings. The study examined the possible reasons for this by interviewing the patients and their relatives on the subject. Perspectives were inventoried, also with respect to the need for support by the social network and the perception of burden by significant others, in the various phases of the rehabilitation treatment. 




  • Protocol artikel: Effects of family group conferences among high-risk patients of chronic disability and their significant others: Study protocol for a multicentre controlled trial. (Hillebregt et al, BMJ Open 2018; 8.3: e018883)
  • Systematic review 1: Family Group Decision Making interventions in adult health care and welfare: a systematic literature review of its key-elements and effectiveness. (Hillebregt et al, BMJ Open 2019, 9.4: e026768)
  • Systematic review 2: Understanding the conditions affecting Family Group Decision Making in adult health care and welfare: a systematic review from the participants perspectives (Artikel in eindfase)
  • A dyadic patient-/ carer perspective about social support needs in rehabilitation medicine and the consequences for family-centred rehabilitation treatment (Artikel in eindfase)
  • Caregiver Burden: A qualitative approach to understanding the experiences of caregivers and their partners transitioning from inpatient rehabilitation treatment to home (Artikel in eindfase)
    • Mini symposium Family Empowerment. Dutch Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (DCRM), 8-9 November 2018, Groningen
    • Presentation of POWER research into the effectiveness and implementation of family conferences in rehabilitation centres. CVA Ketenzorg. Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, 18 April 2017
    • Presentation of POWER study and poster pitch. Kennisnetwerk CVA Nederland Symposium Zorg dichtbij. Netherlands, 25 November 2016. Eindhoven.
    • Presentation of POWER study at the Revalideren is leren symposium, IJsselstein, Rehab Academy, 3 October 2016.
    • Presentation of POWER study at the International Conference on Sociology and Social Work (6th). 25 August 2016. Windesheim, Zwolle
    • Workshop Family conferences for social workers. 15 April 2016. De Hoogstraat Revalidatie, Utrecht. 
    • Presentation of POWER study into the implementation of a family-centred intervention during revalidation. Mini-symposium Paraplegia, 8 April 2016. Roessingh Revalidatie, Enschede.
    • Poster presentation of POWER study. Dutch Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (DCRM), 5-7 November 2015, Rotterdam.


    Prof. Evelien Tonkens (

    In order to reduce the transition from rehabilitation clinic to home, Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) meetings have been offered to rehabilitants. There was not much interest for these meetings. The study examined the possible reasons for this.