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Psychol Psychother. 2013 Sep;86(3):245-61. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8341.2011.02059.x. Epub 2012 Feb 14.

Exploring service users perceptions of recovery from psychosis: A Q-methodological approach.

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  • 1Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.



Recovery from psychosis has been greatly studied, especially in relation to outcome. However, it is still a poorly defined concept and there has been minimal impact of service user definitions of recovery. It is a term that is being increasingly used in relation to mental health policies and guidelines; hence it is important to ensure that recovery is well defined and guided by service users' experience of recovery. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine what factors are important to service users in recovery from psychosis.


A Q-method approach was adopted to allow a wide qualitative exploration of recovery.


An opportunity sample (N= 40) was recruited, aged between 18 and 65, who experienced symptoms of psychosis for at least 1 year within mental health services in the North West of England.


Analysis revealed four distinct perspectives in relation to recovery from psychosis. The first placed importance on collaborative support and understanding, the second on emotional change through social and medical support, the third group emphasized regaining functional and occupational goals, and the last group identified self-focused recovery as being important factors.


Although recovery from psychosis may have common elements, there are a number of idiosyncratic perspectives that should be taken into account when conceptualizing recovery and this should be reflected in service provision.

© 2012 The British Psychological Society.

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