Academic journal article East Asian Archives of Psychiatry

Mental Health Recovery for Psychiatric Inpatient Services: Perceived Importance of the Elements of Recovery

Academic journal article East Asian Archives of Psychiatry

Mental Health Recovery for Psychiatric Inpatient Services: Perceived Importance of the Elements of Recovery

Article excerpt


Objectives: To develop a questionnaire for measuring the perceived importance of the elements of mental health recovery in psychiatric inpatients in Hong Kong and to test the psychometric properties of the questionnaire.

Methods: Thematic content analysis of identified literature on mental health recovery was performed to identify the elements related to mental health recovery. A questionnaire was developed to assess the perceived importance of the identified elements. An expert panel was set up to evaluate the content validity and patient focus group's face validity of the questionnaire. Participants were recruited from medium-stay and rehabilitation wards of Castle Peak Hospital.

Results: A total of 101 psychiatric inpatients completed the questionnaire, the majority of whom suffered from schizophrenia (75%). Having meaning in life was rated by 91% of the participants as an important element of recovery, followed by hope (86%) and general health and wellness (85%). Cronbach's alpha for internal consistency was 0.91. Explorative factor analysis yielded 7 factors and intraclass correlation coefficients revealed a fair-to-good test-retest reliability.

Conclusions: The results supported the psychometric properties of the questionnaire for measurement of mental health recovery and serve as a basis for the future development of recovery-oriented services in the psychiatric inpatient settings in this locality.

Key words: Hong Kong; Inpatients; Mental health services; Outcome assessment (health care)


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Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental disability to live a meaningful life in the community of his or her choice, while striving to achieve his or her full potential.1 As an essential direction of mental health care reform and a move towards continuous service quality improvement, the concept of recovery-oriented care has already been incorporated into the national policies, service standards, and guiding principles for the transformation of the mental health systems in many countries, including Australia, the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.2-7 In order to catch up with global trends in mental health care reform, there is an urgency to explore whether the local mental health services should become 'recovery-oriented'. Moreover, as recovery is a relatively novel concept in the Chinese population, it is important to define it and assess the meanings of recovery in relation to people with mental illness in Hong Kong.

Mental health recovery has been described and defined by different health care organisations. In 2003, the US Commission on Mental Health stated that "the goal of a transformed mental health system is to implement recovery and recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their community".8 In the report, recovery was defined as "the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life despite disability". The US Department of Health in 2004 issued a National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery, in which recovery was cited as "the single most important goal" for the mental health service delivery system. It mentioned that the 10 fundamental elements of recovery are self-direction, individualised and person-centred, empowerment, holistic, non-linear, strength-based, peer support, respect, responsibility, and hope.1 In 2010, the South London and Maudsley National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust and the South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust jointly issued a position statement.9 The latter suggested that recovery-focused services are a central component to make our mental health services fit for the 21st century, and that recovery is about "individualised approaches and having a satisfying and fulfilling life, as defined by each person". …

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