Four research projects have started into the successful social (re)integration of young people with autism and psychosis

6 July 2018

People with autism or psychotic disorders often experience severe limitations in their social functioning. With funding from the research programme ‘Social (re)integration of adolescents and adults with autism and psychosis’ four research teams will work with the people involved to investigate which interventions are possible and whether the treatments work.

Groep mensen in drukke stad Photo: ShutterstockPhoto: Shutterstock

The aim of this research programme into the social (re)integration of young people with autism or psychosis is to encourage innovative research into successful interventions in the areas of living, use of leisure time and how people with autism and/or psychoses are viewed by society. The programme has been made possible by Support Foundation VCVGZ in collaboration with NWO.

The programme arose after previous research revealed that too little is known about how these target groups use their leisure time and effective methods to improve this. Furthermore, not enough is known about how Dutch society views people with an autistic or psychotic disorders and what can be done to counteract possible stigmatisation. With this programme, the Support Foundation and NWO also want to improve the exchange of knowledge between researchers and clinicians in this area. Four projects will start this year. The call for the second round of this programme will be published at the end of 2018.

The four projects awarded funding are:

VRT-SOAP - Virtual Reality Treatment for improving SOcial Activities and Participation of young people with psychosis
Young people with psychosis have fewer social activities than their peers. They find it hard to interact with other people in everyday life. We have produced a virtual reality therapy for this. Patients can practice a wide range of virtual social situations with a therapist acting as a coach. We will investigate whether this treatment helps.
Project leader: Dr W.A. Veling (University Medical Center Groningen)

"FOCUS: FOstering social integration for people with psychosis: How to create effective Collaborative working in community care and sUpported Housing
People in supported housing facilities are poorly integrated in society, with health and community care being two worlds apart. This study investigates how health care and community institutions can be effectively restructured to foster social inclusion for this population. Results will be transferred to innovative approaches improving interprofessional collaboration.
Project leader: Prof. R. Bruggeman (University of Groningen)

Housing and leisure of adolescents and adults with and without autism: 9-year longitudinal outcomes, intervention and implementation
Autism is a very expensive disorder due to the frequently life-long need for support and the lack of social integration. Within an exceptionally large longitudinal cohort we will investigate how the situation in areas of living and use of leisure time affects wellbeing, we will develop an intervention, and we will implement findings at individual and municipal level.
Project leader: Dr S. Begeer (VU Amsterdam)

Breaking the cycle: an inclusive school environment outside the classroom for adolescents with ASD
“Alone on the school playground, outside of all groups”. This is how adolescents with autism miss the opportunity to learn essential emotional and social skills. This project with and for young people with autism, creates an inclusive school environment outside of the classroom, which facilitates the quality and quantity of social participation for young people attending school.
Project leader: Prof. C.J. Rieffe (Leiden University)

More information

Source: NWO