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May 06, 2005
Ways to encourage recovery
Read more... Schizophrenia Research Journal Articles
An empirical conceptualization of the recovery orientation.
In the scientific literature, “recovery” is described as “process representing the belief that all individuals, even those with severe psychiatric disabilities, can develop hope for the future, participate in meaningful activities, exercise self-determination, and live in a society without stigma and discrimination”. Helping people with schizophrenia move towards this recovery orientation is an important part of grass-roots movements and mental healthy advocacy by groups including NAMI ( National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), state mental health systems and the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (click here for more info)
In this article, the authors propose an empirical (research based) way to think about people’s recovery orientation. They used data from the Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT) Client Survey which is the largest systematic survey of the treatment of schizophrenia ever conducted. The PORT asked people with schizophrenia in Ohio and Georgia questions about many different things including measures of clinical status, community adjustment and attitudes about different things. There was a total of 1076 participants.
Based on the analysis of the results, they suggest a way of encouraging recovery attitudes by focusing on 4 areas: the capacity to feel empowered in one's life; self-perceptions of knowledge about mental illness and available treatments; satisfaction with quality of life; and hope and optimism for the future.
For the goal of empowerment, it helps to promote self-esteem and help individuals discover and reach their goals. This involves helping the person to feel empowered to take responsibility to make one's own decisions and take responsibility for treatment, as well as encouraging the feeling that one's treatment and treatment providers match your own treatment goals.
They also talk about the importance of fostering hope - hope for the future, hope for achieving one's goals and the importance of being surrounded by treaters, peers and family members who share realistic optimism and hope.
Knowledge about one's illness, the range of available treatments and ways to navigate the service system is another way that can help people improve their confidence in coping with mental illness. It can help people with schizophrenia attend to their own personal experiences, manage symptoms, and achieve greater independence and less dependence on the mental health system.
Satisfaction with family, social networks, living arrangements, community and safety are also important. These can be encouraged by family psychoeducation that can help with improving communication with family members. Case management services such as assertive community treatment may also help those with schizophrenia maximize their housing opportunities and create housing stability.
Overall, the authors suggest that the evidence-based practice (EBP) movement in science, which promotes treatments that are supported by clinical trials, can help to identify interventions that promote these recovery orientations in people with schizophrenia. These EBPs can help by providing a mechanism for identifying treatments that promote recovery orientations.
Overall, this article highlights the importance of people with schizophrenia and caregivers to be well informed of current advances/treatments that are continuously being introduced, so as to encourage recovery in their loved ones.
Schizophr Res. 2005 Jun 1;75(1):119-28.
Posted by Farzin at May 6, 2005 02:51 AM
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