Video and social rehabilitation of persons with mental illness helps to structure everyday life: a qualitative study

Claus Ugilt Østergaard, Helle Spindler, Birthe Dinesen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Living with a mental disorder has a significant impact on everyday life. In 2018, one out of every six adults, equivalent to 17.3% of the adult population of the European Union, had symptoms of mental disorders. This paper focus on social rehabilitation of patients with mental illness who have
been discharged from hospital and who use video communication technologies in their rehabilitation in collaboration with their social worker. The aim of this study has been to explore the experiences of persons with mental illnesses who participated in a long-term video-based tele-social rehabilitation program, the
Video Assist.
Methods: The overall research strategy is the case study method. Data collection techniques are based on triangulation. Document analysis has been performed. Participant observation in homes of persons with mental using video with social workers (168 hours). Semi structured qualitative interviews with persons
with mental illness (n=13) has been conducted lasting between 30 and 60 minutes. Data were analyzed using NVivo 10.0.
Results: Experiences of persons with mental illness participating in the tele-social rehabilitation program are in themes: user friendly video technology, video created a new means of communication between citizen and social worker, feeling of surveillance by having the technology in the home, development of new coping strategies in everyday life and need for psychosocial support and training via the video technology.
Conclusions: Persons with mental illness who are in a recovery process find that participating in a telesocial-rehabilitation program gives them a sense of mobility, security, surveillance but the ability to develop new coping strategies in their everyday lives. Future research is needed on long-term effects of tele-social rehabilitation for persons with mental illness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Mental illness
  • Recovery
  • Social rehabilitation
  • Tele-mental health
  • Video communication


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