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Patterns of Recovery from Severe Mental Illness: A Pilot Study of Outcomes

Miller, R.M. T.T. Brown, D. Pilon, R.M. Scheffler, and M. Davis. “Patterns of Recovery from Severe Mental Illness: A pilot study of outcomes.” Community Mental Health Journal (June 2009).


We performed a pilot study examining the patterns of recovery from severe mental illness in a model integrated service delivery system using measures from the Milestones of Recovery Scale (MORS), a valid and reliable measure of recovery outcomes which ranges from 1 to 8 (8 levels). For purposes of presentation, we constructed an aggregate MORS (6 levels) where the levels are described as follows: (1) extreme risk; (2) unengaged, poorly selfcoordinating; (3) engaged, poorly self-coordinating; (4) coping and rehabilitating; (5) early recovery, and (6) self reliant. We analyzed MORS data on individuals followed over time from The Village in Long Beach, California (658 observations). Using Markov Chains, we estimated origindestination transition probabilities, simulating recovery outcomes for 100 months. Our models suggest that after 12 months only 8% of ‘‘extreme risk’’ clients remain such. Over 40% have moved to ‘‘engaged, poorly self-coordinating.’’ After 2 years, almost half of the initial ‘‘extreme Risk’’ clients are ‘‘coping/rehabilitating’’, ‘‘early recovery’’ or ‘‘Self reliant.’’ Most gains occur within 2 years.

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