Evidence of recovery: the ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of longitudinal outcome studies

Scottish Recovery Network
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This is the fourth in a series of discussion papers designed to help generate debate on how best to promote and support recovery from long-term mental health problems in Scotland. This discussion paper provides an overview of some of the findings of longitudinal mental health outcome studies that have been conducted in the course of the few last decades in different countries and with different patient groups. The paper draws on evidence that suggests that despite the introduction of new drugs, relapse rates have not decreased. Recovery rates also appear to be higher in developing countries. The limitations of traditional outcome measures are discussed and the paper concludes that outcome tools need to be developed in correspondence with the experiences of people who describe themselves as in recovery or recovered.

Subject terms:
medication, long term treatment, longitudinal studies, mental health problems, outcomes, developing countries;
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(SRN Discussion Paper Series; Paper 4)

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