Scientific and consumer models of recovery in schizophrenia: concordance, contrasts, and implications

Schizophr Bull. 2006 Jul;32(3):432-42. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbj044. Epub 2006 Feb 3.


Schizophrenia has traditionally been viewed as a chronic condition with a very pessimistic outlook, but that assumption may not be valid. There has been a growing consumer movement among people with schizophrenia that has challenged both the traditional perspective on the course of illness and the associated assumptions about the possibility of people with the illness living a productive and satisfying life. This new conception of the illness is supported by long-term studies that suggest that as much as 50% of people with the illness have good outcomes. There has also been a change in political and public health perspectives of the illness, stimulated in part by the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of some key themes about the recovery concept, as applied to schizophrenia. The article will address 3 questions: (1) What is recovery? (2) Is recovery possible? and (3) What are the implications of a recovery model for a scientific approach to treatment (ie, the use of evidence-based practices)? Scientific and consumer models of recovery are described, and commonalities and differences are discussed. Priorities for future research are suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Convalescence*
  • Employment, Supported
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration
  • Mental Health Services / supply & distribution*
  • Psychology
  • Schizophrenia / therapy*
  • Social Support*
  • United States