Implementing recovery-oriented interventions with staff in a psychiatric hospital: A mixed-methods study

Tzipi Hornik-Lurie, Anat Shalev, Lior Haknazar, Paula Garber Epstein, Linor Ziedenberg-Rehav, Galia S. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


What is known on the subject?: Recovery-oriented care is a means of providing mental health treatment, focused on the patient's individual needs and active involvement in one's own care. However, this approach presents with challenges, particularly in psychiatric hospitals, which tend to be focused on symptom reduction. What does the paper adds to existing knowledge?: This study examines the influence of three different recovery-oriented training programmes/interventions (namely, illness management and recovery, peer support, and psychiatric advance directives) on the attitudes and practice of mental health staff (including nurses) in an inpatient setting, using a mixed-methods methodology. We quantitatively assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices developed following recovery-oriented training, compared to staff not trained in these interventions. We interviewed staff exposed to the different interventions to learn about their personal views and characterized the benefits and challenges they experienced. Mainly, the illness management and recovery training created a positive change in the work attitude and some work-related practices of mental health staff and the increased presence of a person-centred approach supporting patient autonomy. However, and contrary to expectations, there was no increase in practices that support personal goals or provide individually tailored services. Peer support had an experiential impact among mental health staff, initiating a more humane, positive approach to patients. Psychiatric advance directives were reported as more challenging to implement and with limited impact. What are the implications for practice?: Recovery-oriented trainings can be internalized and implemented by staff in medical model psychiatric settings. Despite recovery-oriented training, challenges do occur—notably, they are hardest to implement in acute wards/patient states and by psychiatric nurses. Using multiple recovery-oriented programmes/interventions can accelerate the momentum for change in traditional settings and promote positive practice. Ongoing comprehensive mental health staff training on recovery-oriented care programmes is essential in order to sustain change over time. Training is not enough in itself—hospital administrations need to be actively involved in promoting recovery-oriented policies. Abstract: Introduction Developing person-centred recovery-oriented care is a challenge in mental health systems, particularly psychiatric hospitals. Aim To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices developed following recovery-oriented training of nurses and other staff; to identify the benefits and challenges involved in the implementation of recovery-oriented intervention in psychiatric wards. Method A mixed-methods study compared recovery knowledge, attitudes and practices of 37 mental health ward staff trained in recovery-oriented intervention, against 35 staff not trained. Fifteen staff were interviewed about their experiences, and protocols were qualitatively analysed. Results The quantitative outcomes partially confirmed positive changes in attitudes and some practices. Qualitative interviews complemented these findings, revealing greater use of a person-centred approach and support for patient autonomy. However, we did not find differences between groups in quantitative outcomes pertaining to personal goals or providing individually tailored services. Discussion This study validates the implementation of recovery training and practices in psychiatric settings, and identifies the challenges involved. We discuss psychiatric nurse conflicts in implementation in acute wards. Implications for practice Our findings support the need for broader staff training in recovery-oriented interventions. Recruiting the support of the hospital administration for recovery-oriented intervention programmes is key, both ethically and structurally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-581
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • advocacy
  • alternative interventions
  • mental health promotion
  • nursing education
  • recovery
  • staff perceptions‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬


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