Joining forces to improve psychosocial care for people with cognitive deficits across diagnoses: social health as a common framework
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Cognitive deficits such as memory problems have a major impact on independence in daily life and participation in society in several populations, such as people with dementia, brain injury (i.e. stroke) or a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. Similarities in the impact on participation and well-being have resulted in the development of comparable psychosocial interventions across populations, aiming to support people to adapt to cognitive deficits or by adapting the environment. These interventions are developed separately, without using the expertise in other fields. We argue that each of the fields and the field of psychosocial care in general would benefit from closer collaboration on development and evaluation of innovative psychosocial interventions. Collaboration has been complicated by the use of different care models and theoretical frameworks, each with their own terminology. The concept of social health - the ability to participate in work or other meaningful activities and to feel healthy despite a condition - translates to the leading care models within the fields of dementia, brain injury and severe mental illness. The concept of social health provides a common language and framework. In this paper, we elaborate on strategies for collaboration using examples of interventions to improve social health.