Objective: Mental health services in Australia are increasingly becoming recovery orientated. However, there are varying meanings for recovery and few measures that specifically target recovery outcomes. The current study aimed to assess the construct and concurrent validity of a patient self-report measure, the Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS).
Method: Participants were 168 individuals with severe and persistent psychiatric disability who were participants in the Australian Integrated Mental Health Initiative (AIMhi) project. They completed self-report recovery and other mental health measures and their case workers completed the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were carried out to examine the factor structure of the RAS.
Results: Exploratory factor analysis of the RAS produced five factors that were replicated using confirmatory techniques. Each factor has satisfactory internal reliability (Cronbach α range = 0.73–0.91). The factors displayed convergent validity with positive and significant correlations with other recovery measures. Concurrent validity was demonstrated with significant but lower correlations with symptoms and clinician-rated measures of psychiatric functioning.
Conclusion: The factors of the RAS are consistent with the consumer literature on recovery. Correlations with other variable suggest that the RAS is measuring something different from traditional symptom or functional mental health measures. Further research is needed to clarify the extent to which the RAS is able to capture the range of recovery experiences that have been described by patients.