Mental health outcome measures in the age of recovery-based services

Mental health outcome measures in the age of recovery-based services, British Journal of Nursing (BJN)2009 Aug 13; 18(15): 940-43

Dickens G – Research Nurse and Honorary Lecturer, St Andrew GTs Academic Centre Research Team, Institute of Psychiatry Kings College London, UK


Patient based outcomes tools such as Health of the Nation Outcome Scales can help users and providers to assess whether mental health services promote wellbeing, and can also inform research and clinical audit. With some exceptions, however, completion rates of routine outcomes ratings are poor, and some argue that current tools are not sufficiently service user-oriented. Concurrently, the recovery model as an approach to mental health care, emphasizing concepts such as hope, meaning and sense of self, has come to prominence. The emerging model creates a need to measure whether recovery-led services deliver positive outcomes. To answer this, it is necessary to first ask whether current routine outcomes tools are suitable measures of recovery-related concepts. This article examines the current state of outcomes measurement in UK mental health services in the age of the recovery model and proposes that a twin-track approach is required.

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