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Psychological recovery in a step 4 service: a qualitative study exploring the views of service users and clinicians

Lookup NU author(s): Bronagh Weir, Ruth Struthers, Celia Wild, Dr Lucy Robinson


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© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Background: Psychological recovery is typically measured in improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) services as the reduction of symptoms on routine outcome measures (ROMs). However, conceptualisations of psychological recovery vary, and there are concerns that ROMs may not be suitable for measuring recovery from complex mental health difficulties. Aim: To gain insight into psychological recovery and measurement in clinical practice. Method: A qualitative study at a step-4 IAPT service in the North of England. Eight clinicians contributed to focus groups, and 10 service users were later interviewed individually. Results: Factors that informed four congruent and interacting themes of recovery were identified among participants as an ongoing personal process, of intra-therapeutic and extra-therapeutic factors impacting on recovery in helpful and unhelpful ways, and the need for idiographic long-term recovery measures. The functional and long-term nature of recovery and the socio-economic context for recovery were considered particularly crucial. Conclusions: The need for idiographic long-term recovery measures to support the ongoing process of recovery was reported in the majority of instances. Study findings mirrored existing recovery and outcome measurement literature, provided new evidence in relation to recovery from complex mental health difficulties, and made recommendations for future research and clinical practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weir B, Struthers R, Reid L, Wild C, Robinson L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Mental Health

Year: 2022

Volume: 31

Issue: 2

Pages: 220-226

Online publication date: 12/05/2021

Acceptance date: 14/01/2021

ISSN (print): 0963-8237

ISSN (electronic): 1360-0567

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2021.1922640

PubMed id: 33978537


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