Consumer Views and Experiences of Secondary-Care Services Following REFOCUS-PULSAR Staff Recovery-Oriented Practices Training

Michelle Kehoe, Ellie Fossey, Vrinda Edan, Lisa Chaffey, Lisa Brophy, Penelope June Weller, Frances Shawyer, Graham Meadows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: The use of recovery-oriented practice (ROP) can be challenging to implement in mental health services. This qualitative sub-study of the Principles Unite Local Services Assisting Recovery (PULSAR) project explored how consumers perceive their recovery following community mental health staff undertaking specific ROP training. Methods: Using a qualitative participatory methodology, 21 consumers (aged 18–63 years) participated in one-on-one interviews. A thematic analysis was applied. Results: Four main themes were extracted: (1) connection, (2) supportive relationships, (3) a better life, and (4) barriers. Connections to community and professional staff were important to support consumers in their recovery journey. Many consumers were seeking and striving towards a better life that was personal and individual to each of them, and how they made meaning around the idea of a better life. Barriers to recovery primarily focused on a lack of choice. A minor theme of ‘uncertainty’ suggested that consumers struggled to identify what their recovered future might entail. Conclusion: Despite staff undertaking the ROP training, all participants struggled to identify language and aspects of recovery in their interaction with the service, suggesting a need for staff to promote open, collaborative conversations around recovery. A specifically targeted recovery resource might facilitate such conversation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5894
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • community mental health care
  • consumers
  • mental health recovery
  • personal recovery
  • recovery-oriented practices

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