Recovery-oriented service provision and clinical outcomes in assertive community treatment.
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OBJECTIVE: While the term "recovery" is routinely referenced in clinical services and health policy, few studies have examined the relationship between recovery-oriented service provision and client outcomes. The present study was designed to examine the relationship between recovery-orientation of service provision for persons with severe mental illnesses and outcomes in Assertive Community Treatment (ACT). METHODS: Client, family, staff, and manager ratings of service recovery-orientation and outcomes across a range of service utilization and community functioning indicators were examined among 67 ACT teams in Ontario, Canada. RESULTS: Significant associations were found between ratings of recovery-oriented service provision and better outcomes in the domains of legal involvement, hospitalization days, education involvement, and employment. Results were not uniformly positive or consistent, however, across stakeholder Recovery Self-Assessment (RSA) ratings or outcomes. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: These findings provide some preliminary support for an association between recovery-oriented service delivery for persons with severe mental illnesses and better outcomes. In line with the current practice commentary, this association would suggest the importance of evaluating and cultivating recovery-oriented values and practices in ACT contexts. This is a particularly salient point given that ACT standards minimally address key domains of recovery-oriented service provision. Further study is required, however, to determine if these findings apply to the implementation of ACT in other jurisdictions or generalize to other community support programs.