Resident and proprietor perspectives on a recovery orientation in community-based housing

Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2015 Mar;38(1):88-95. doi: 10.1037/prj0000104. Epub 2015 Jan 5.


Objective: Stable housing is a fundamental human right, and an important element for both mental health recovery and social inclusion among people with serious mental illness. This article reports findings from a study on the recovery orientation of structured congregate community housing services using the Recovery Self-Assessment Questionnaire (RSA) adapted for housing (O'Connell, Tondora, Croog, Evans, & Davidson, 2005).

Methods: The RSA questionnaires were administered to 118 residents and housing providers from 112 congregate housing units located in Montreal, Canada.

Results: Residents rated their homes as significantly less recovery-oriented than did proprietors, which is contrary to previous studies of clinical services or Assertive Community Treatment where RSA scores for service users were significantly higher than service provider scores. Findings for both groups suggest the need for improvement on 5 of 6 RSA factors. While proprietors favored recovery training and education, and valued resident opinion and experience, vestiges of a traditional medical model governing this housing emerged in other findings, as in agreement between the 2 groups that residents have little choice in case management, or in the belief among proprietors that residents are unable to manage their symptoms.

Conclusions and implications for practice: This study demonstrates that the RSA adapted for housing is a useful tool for creating recovery profiles of housing services. The findings provide practical guidance on how to promote a recovery orientation in structured community housing, as well as a novel approach for reaching a common understanding of what this entails among stakeholders. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Bipolar Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Canada
  • Case Management
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Group Homes*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / rehabilitation
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support