The stages of recovery instrument: development of a measure of recovery from serious mental illness
Objective: In order to realize the vision of recovery-orientated mental health services, there is a need for a model and a method of measuring recovery as the concept is described by mental health consumers. A preliminary five-stage model based on consumer accounts was developed in an earlier study by the authors. This next stage of the research program describes the development and initial testing of a stage measure which, when validated, can be used in testing that model. Method: Existing measures of recovery were reviewed to assess their concordance with the model, and a new measure, the Stages of Recovery Instrument (STORI) was subsequently developed. A postal survey was conducted of 94 volunteers from the NISAD Schizophrenia Research Register. Participants completed the STORI and measures of mental health, psychological wellbeing, hope, resilience and recovery. Results: The STORI correlated with all of the psychological health variables, and the five stage subscales were found to be internally consistent. An ordinal relationship between the stage subscales was demonstrated by the intercorrelations of the subscale scores and the pattern of correlations between the subscales and the other measures. However, a cluster analysis of items revealed an overlap in measurement of adjacent stages, with only three clear clusters emerging. Conclusions: The results provide preliminary empirical validation of the STORI as a measure of the consumer definition of recovery. However, refinement of the measure is needed to improve its capacity to discriminate between the stages of the model. The model could then be comprehensively tested using longitudinal methods and the inclusion of objective measures.