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Transforming mental health services: a participatory mixed methods study to promote and evaluate the implementation of recovery-oriented services

10 Sep 2014

Since 2007, the Mental Health Commission of Canada has worked collaboratively across all provinces to publish a framework and strategy for recovery and well-being. This federal document is now mandated as policy for implementation between 2012 and 2017. The proposed strategies have been written into provincial health plans, hospital accreditation standards, and annual objectives of psychiatric departments and community organizations. The core premise is: to empower persons with mental illness and their families to become participants in designing their own care, while meeting the needs of a diverse Canadian population. However, recovery principles do not come with an implementation guide to fit the variability of different local contexts. How can policy recommendations and accreditation standards be effectively tailored to support a diversity of stakeholder values? To our knowledge, there is little evidence indicating the most effective manner to accelerate the uptake of recovery-oriented services among providers in a given/particular mental health treatment setting.Methods/DesignThis three-year Canadian Institute of Health Research Partnership in Health System Improvement and The Rx&D Health Research Foundation (HRF) Fostering Canadian Innovation in Research study (2013 to 2017) proposed participatory approaches to implementing recovery principles in a Department of Psychiatry serving a highly diverse Canadian and immigrant population. This project will be conducted in overlapping and recursive phases: I) Conduct formative research to (a) measure the current knowledge and attitudes toward recovery and recovery-oriented practices among service providers, while concurrently (b) exploring the experiential knowledge of recovery service-users and family members; II) Collaborate with service-users and the network-identified opinion leaders among providers to tailor Recovery-in-Action Initiatives to fit the needs and resources of a Department of Psychiatry; and III) Conduct a systematic theory-based evaluation of changes in attitudes and practices within the service-user/service-provider partnership group relative to the overall provider network of the department and identify the barriers and supports within the local context.DiscussionOur anticipated outcome is a participatory toolkit to tailor recovery-oriented services, which will be disseminated to the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Accreditation Canada at the federal level, agencies at the provincial levels, and local knowledge end-users.

10 September 2014

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Implementation Science