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Promoting recovery-oriented practice in mental health services: a quasi-experimental mixed-methods study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number167
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2013

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Abstract

Background: Recovery has become an increasingly prominent concept in mental health policy internationally. However, there is a lack of guidance regarding organisational transformation towards a recovery orientation. This study evaluated the implementation of recovery-orientated practice through training across a system of mental health services.

Methods: The intervention comprised four full-day workshops and an in-team half-day session on supporting recovery. It was offered to 383 staff in 22 multidisciplinary community and rehabilitation teams providing mental health services across two contiguous regions. A quasi-experimental design was used for evaluation, comparing behavioural intent with staff from a third contiguous region. Behavioural intent was rated by coding points of action on the care plans of a random sample of 700 patients (400 intervention, 300 control), before and three months after the intervention. Action points were coded for (a) focus of action, using predetermined categories of care; and (b) responsibility for action. Qualitative inquiry was used to explore staff understanding of recovery, implementation in services and the wider system, and the perceived impact of the intervention. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 intervention group team leaders post-training and an inductive thematic analysis undertaken.

Results: A total of 342 (89%) staff received the intervention. Care plans of patients in the intervention group had significantly more changes with evidence of change in the content of patient's care plans (OR 10.94. 95% CI 7.01-17.07) and the attributed responsibility for the actions detailed (OR 2.95, 95% CI 1.68-5.18). Nine themes emerged from the qualitative analysis split into two superordinate categories. 'Recovery, individual and practice', describes the perception and provision of recovery orientated care by individuals and at a team level. It includes themes on care provision, the role of hope, language of recovery, ownership and multidisciplinarity. 'Systemic implementation', describes organizational implementation and includes themes on hierarchy and role definition, training approaches, measures of recovery and resources.

Conclusions: Training can provide an important mechanism for instigating change in promoting recovery-orientated practice. However, the challenge of systemically implementing recovery approaches requires further consideration of the conceptual elements of recovery, its measurement, and maximising and demonstrating organizational commitment.

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