The Development of Recovery Competencies for In-patient Mental Health Providers Working with People with Serious Mental Illness
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Objectives. The transformation of the mental health system toward a recovery-orientation has created a growing demand for training and education to equip providers with recovery competencies. The purpose of this thesis is to develop a recovery competency framework addressing the most salient components of recovery competencies required for providers practicing in in-patient contexts and to construct and test an education program accordingly. Methods. This thesis involved three phases. Phase One used competency development strategies to develop a recovery competency framework. Data collection methods included a literature review and 15 key informant interviews. In Phase Two, based on the recovery competency framework, a recovery education program was constructed and validated. In Phase Three, a pilot study with a pre-test/post-test design was used to examine the effectiveness of the education program. Twenty-six in-patient providers from three hospitals were recruited. Outcome measures included the Recovery Knowledge Inventory, two investigator-developed questionnaires rating participants’ sense of recovery knowledge application and perceived recovery-related dilemmas, and a group evaluation. Results. Two conceptual models were developed in Phase One to address key tensions and enabling processes for in-patient providers. Derived from these two models, a recovery competency framework consisting of eight core competencies was developed. Phase Two was comprised of a two-part education program. Part One was a self-learning program introducing recovery concepts in the in-patient context and the recovery competency framework. Part Two was a group learning program focusing on real-life dilemmas relevant to the in-patient context and applying the Appreciative Inquiry approach to address these dilemmas. In Phase Three, providers who participated in the education program showed improvement in recovery knowledge and sense of recovery knowledge application after the self-learning program. Participant evaluations of the group learning program were positive. The results indicated that in-patient providers may benefit from this education program. Conclusions. This thesis addressed tensions related to recovery and highlighted the important role providers play in promoting recovery through the development and validation of the context-specific competency framework and education program. The broad dissemination of the study results will be an important step in promoting recovery in in-patient settings.