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Front Psychol. 2016 Apr 26;7:584. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00584. eCollection 2016.

Profiles of Recovery from Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Person-Centered Exploration of People's Engagement in Self-Management.

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Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal QC, Canada.
Faculty of Nursing, Université Laval, Québec City QC, Canada.
Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.
School of Psychology, Université Laval, Québec City QC, Canada.
Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, MontréalQC, Canada; Research Centre, Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal, MontréalQC, Canada.



A shift toward person-centered care has been occurring in services provided to people with mood and anxiety disorders. Recovery is recognized as encompassing personal aspects in addition to clinical ones. Guidelines now recommend supporting people's engagement in self-management as a complementary recovery avenue. Yet the literature lacks evidence on how individualized combinations of self-management strategies used by people relate to their clinical and personal recovery indicators.


The aims of this study were to identify profiles underlying mental health recovery, describe the characteristics of participants corresponding to each profile, and examine the associations of profiles with criterion variables.


149 people recovering from anxiety, depressive, or bipolar disorders completed questionnaires on self-management, clinical recovery (symptom severity), personal recovery (positive mental health), and criterion variables (personal goal appraisal, social participation, self-care abilities, coping).


Latent profile analysis (LPA) revealed three profiles. The Floundering profile included participants who rarely used self-management strategies and had moderately severe symptoms and the lowest positive mental health. The Flourishing profile was characterized by frequent use of self-empowerment strategies, the least severe symptoms, and the highest positive mental health. Participants in the Struggling profile engaged actively in several self-management strategies focused on symptom reduction and healthy lifestyle. They concomitantly reported high symptom severity and moderately high positive mental health. The study revealed that Floundering was associated with higher probabilities of being a man, being single, and having a low income. People in the Flourishing profile had the most favorable scores on criterion variables, supporting the profiles' construct validity.


The mixed portrait of Struggling participants on recovery indicators suggests the relationship between health engagement and recovery is more intricate than anticipated. Practitioners should strive for a holistic understanding of their clients' self-management strategies and recovery indicators to provide support personalized to their profile. While people presenting risk factors would benefit from person-centered support, societal efforts are needed in the long term to reduce global health inequalities. The integration of constructs from diverse fields (patient-centered care, chronic illness, positive psychology) and the use of person-oriented analysis yielded new insights into people's engagement in their health and well-being.


health engagement; mood and anxiety disorders; person-centered approach; positive mental health; recovery; self-management

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