Assessing the value of existing recovery measures for routine use in Australian mental health services

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2011 Apr;45(4):267-80. doi: 10.3109/00048674.2010.549996. Epub 2011 Feb 11.


Object: The concept of recovery has been recognized as important in the treatment of mental illness. A number of specific instruments exist which are designed to: (i) measure recovery at an individual level; and (ii) assess the recovery orientation of services. The current review aimed to identify these and evaluate their potential for routine use in Australian public sector mental health services.

Method: We identified potential instruments by drawing on existing reviews, searching MEDLINE and PsycINFO, and consulting with experts. We used a hierarchical criterion-based approach to assess whether given instruments might be candidates for measuring recovery in the Australian context.

Results: We identified 33 instruments: 22 designed to measure individuals' recovery and 11 designed to assess the recovery orientation of services (or providers). Four of the former (Recovery Assessment Scale; Illness Management and Recovery Scales; Stages of Recovery Instrument; Recovery Process Inventory) and four of the latter (Recovery Oriented Systems Indicators Measure; Recovery Self Assessment; Recovery Oriented Practices Index; Recovery Promotion Fidelity Scale) were identified as promising candidates for routine use in Australian public sector mental health services.

Conclusions: Further work is required, however, to determine which, if any, might best be used for this purpose; the possibility that modifications to existing instruments or the development of new instruments might be required should not be ruled out. It might be desirable to invest in two instruments: one designed to measure individuals' recovery and one designed to measure the recovery orientation of services. If Australia were to go down this path, it would make sense to align indicators in each as far as possible, and to ensure that they were consistent with existing endeavours aimed at monitoring and improving recovery-focused aspects of service quality.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures / standards
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Health Services / standards*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / standards