Measuring recovery

First published: 09 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019

Aims  i) To quantify support across five stakeholder groups for 20 recovery indicators previously generated from focus groups of service users and concerned others; ii) To create a brief recovery questionnaire.

Method Indicators were rated by stakeholders for their overall importance and the three most important ranked.  The factor structure was determined by principal component analysis.

Findings  The initial 20 recovery indicators covered the spectrum of substance misuse, social, and psychological domains.  Positive endorsement of each indicator by stakeholder group ranged from 53% to 74% of the maximum support possible with stronger support from service users and concerned others than from practitioners and commissioners.  The greatest number of individuals in each stakeholder group, from 86% of combined problem drinkers and drug takers to 36% of specialist practitioners, rated abstinence as the single most important aspect of recovery and wellbeing was rated second most important.  The indicators were refined to create a 12 item Addiction Recovery Questionnaire – the items have good independent evidence of importance to outcome to support their inclusion.

Originality  The questionnaire is derived solely from the views of service users and concerned others – it is a brief tool with high face validity and suitable for routine use.


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Dr Duncan Raistrick