Conceptualization and Measurement of Mental Health Providers' Recovery-Promoting Competence: The Recovery Promoting Relationships Scale (RPRS)

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Objective: The purpose of this study was to construct and validate an instrument that measures practitioners' competence to promote the recovery among individuals with psychiatric disabilities from the perspective of the person served. Items were developed based upon input from individuals served and practitioners as well as the extant literature on recovery. “Recovery-promoting competence” was conceptualized as a set of practitioner capabilities that promote the recovery process and enhance the working alliance. Method: A scale was developed using a two-stage process that initially identified specific recovery-promoting competencies and then tested candidate items measuring those competencies. Item Response Theory and Classical Test Theory approaches were used to validate the instrument and assess its psychometric properties with a national sample of 382 individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Results: Analyses revealed two distinct sets of recovery-promoting competencies: (a) competencies that enhance clients' recovery, and (b) competencies that build and maintain a strong therapeutic or working alliance. The first set further differentiated into subcompetencies—enhancing clients' hopefulness, empowerment, and self-acceptance. The instrument had high internal consistency and acceptable stability over time, convergent, criterion, and known groups' validity. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: This scale is a tool for assessing mental health and rehabilitation practitioners' competencies from the perspective of the individual served which can be used both in research and program evaluation of agencies serving individuals with psychiatric disabilities.

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