Dr. Cecile aan de Stegge

Cecile aan de Stegge, Researcher/Lecturer at Leiden University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of HealthCare, Department of Nursing.


Cecile aan de Stegge (PhD, Msc, RN) is a former psychiatric nurse with a masters’ degree in Western philosophy (1988). She had worked about 20 years as a strategic policy advisor in psychiatric hospitals and for the Dutch government, when she decided to research the history of her profession. Her thesis about the development of psychiatric nursing in The Netherlands 1830-1980 (Maastricht, 2012) is based upon a great variety of sources: teaching material for nurses; the minutes of exam committees; practical report books; documents of professional associations, trade unions and supervisory or government agencies; chronicles and statistical surveys, but also on material in which the voices of psychiatric nurses could most clearly be heard: essays written by them and interviews with nurses, their professional journals, working papers and training guides written by leading nurses. She described ‘changing norms versus daily practice’ with regard to three difficult but central themes in psychiatry: the use/absence of restraint, the way nurses had to react/reacted upon suicidal thought or acts, and the way nurses had to react/reacted upon patients who more or less openly expressed their sexual feelings.

After publishing this thesis she researched the high mortality within Dutch psychiatric institutions during the German Occupation. Last publication on this theme: Stegge, Cecile aan de (2019), ‘Excess-Mortality and causes of Death in Dutch psychiatric institutions 1940-1945’,in Brigitte Bailer and Julia Wetzel (2019). Mass Murder of People with Disabilities and the Holocaust (97-127).Berlin: Metropol Verlag/International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. She works at the Faculty of Health Care of University of Applied Sciences since August 2019.

Some publications

Harry Oosterhuis and Cecile aan de Stegge (2021). ‘Between emotional involvement and professional detachment: The challenges of nursing in Dutch mental institutions (1880-1980)’. Social History 46:

Stegge, Cecile aan de and Harry Oosterhuis (2018). ‘Psychiatric Nursing in the Netherlands and Great Britain: Class, Status and Gender in the Making of a Profession’. Social History 43: 4,455-483.

Gietema, Marco and Cecile aan de Stegge (2017). Vergeten slachtoffers. Psychiatrische inrichting de Willem Arntsz Hoeve in de Tweede Wereldoorlog (Amsterdam: BOOM).

Stegge, Cecile aan de (2012). GEKKENWERK. De ontwikkeling van het beroep ‘psychiatrisch verpleegkundige’ in Nederland, 1830-1980. Maastricht: Universitaire Pers Maastricht.

Stegge, C. aan de (2008). Mag ik dood? Maandblad Geestelijke Volksgezondheid 63(10), 845-848.

Stegge, C. aan de, (2005). Changing Attitudes towards ‘Non-Restraint’ in Dutch Psychiatric Nursing 1897-1994. in Gijswijt-Hofstra M.F., Oosterhuis H., Vijselaar J. & Freeman H. (eds).(2005). Psychiatric Cultures Compared, Psychiatry and Mental Health Care in the Twentieth Century: Comparisons and Approaches. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 331-358.

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