An empirical evaluation of recovery transformation at a large community psychiatric rehabilitation organization

Igor Malinovsky, Paul Lehrer*, Steven M. Silverstein, Stewart A Shankman, William O'Brien, Tracy Samuelson, Gary Van Nostrand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In recent decades, the concept of "recovery" from Severe Mental Illness (SMI) has gained increased prominence among organizations providing behavioral health services. Many states and organizations are currently developing plans to transform their mental health systems in accordance with recovery-oriented care. Even though efforts to bring the principles of recovery to mental health agencies have been well documented in the United States and abroad, there is little empirical evidence to suggest that recovery oriented services are advantageous. The purpose of this longitudinal study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a recovery-oriented transformation carried out by a large, private, not-for-profit psychiatric rehabilitation organization serving individuals with SMI. This transformation targeted the philosophy and specific procedures involved in the provision of care to residents within the organization. The outcome variables selected to evaluate the impact of the transformation were grouped into the following categories: (a) objective indicators of recovery, (b) self-report indicators of recovery, (c) indicators of staff competency, and (d) processes that promote recovery. Six-hundred and 27 residents and 490 staff participated in the evaluation. The findings suggest that recovery-oriented services had a positive impacton rates of overnight hospitalization, residents' ability to function in the community, some professional skills of employees, and working alliance between direct care providers and residents. This indicates that comprehensive and well-structured recovery-oriented care may offer a cost-efficient and effective alternative to the deficit approach to mental health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-441
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Hospitalization
  • Residential services
  • Schizophrenia
  • Severe mental illness
  • Treatment effectiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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