Development of measures to assess personal recovery in young people treated in specialist mental health services.


Background: Recovery has become a central concept in mental health service delivery, and several recovery-focused measures exist for adults. The concept’s applicability to young people’s mental health experience has been neglected, and no measures yet exist. Aim: The aim of this work is to develop measures of recovery for use in specialist child and adolescent mental health services. Method: On the basis of 21 semi-structured interviews, three recovery measures were devised, one for completion by the young person and two for completion by the parent/carer. Two parent/carer measures were devised in order to assess both their perspective on their child’s recovery and their own recovery process. The questionnaires were administered to a UK sample of 47 young people (10-18 years old) with anxiety and depression and their parents, along with a measure used to routinely assess treatment progress and outcome and a measure of self-esteem. Results: All three measures had high internal consistency (alpha > 0.89). Young people’s recovery scores were correlated negatively with scores on a measure used to routinely assess treatment progress and outcome (r = -0.75) and positively with self-esteem (r = 0.84). Parent and young persons’ reports of the young person’s recovery were positively correlated (r = 0.61). Parent report of the young person’s recovery and of their own recovery process were positively correlated (r = 0.75). Conclusion: The three measures have the potential to be used in mental health services to assess recovery processes in young people with mental health difficulties and correspondence with symptomatic improvement. The measures provide a novel way of capturing the parental/caregiver perspective on recovery and caregivers’ own wellbeing.