Models of Recovery in Mental Illness

Protocol for an Overview of Systematic Reviews and Qualitative Meta-Syntheses

Keywords: Overview, Systematic Review, Systematic Review of Reviews, Recovery, Personal Recovery, Serious Mental Illness, Hermeneutics


Background. Discourse on the possibility of recovery from serious mental illness has become increasingly dominant among mental health professionals. Mental health recovery has been conceptualized variously by researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, and persons with mental illness. Several systematic reviews have synthesized the experience of recovery from the perspective of persons with mental illness, and offer different models of recovery. This proposed overview aims to summarize the methodological characteristics of systematic reviews on mental health recovery and to synthesize models of recovery from the perspective of persons with mental illness.

Design and analysis. The authors will use systematic review methods to identify and synthesize systematic reviews on the phenomenon of recovery in mental illness. A pre-specified search strategy will be used to search academic databases and libraries of the Campbell Collaboration, Cochrane Collaboration, and Joanna Briggs Institute for published and gray literature. Two authors will independently screen titles/abstracts and full texts. Authors will pilot the data extraction form before independently extracting data and appraising study quality. Reflexive thematic analysis, informed by a hermeneutic orientation towards the included texts, will be used to synthesize models of recovery presented in eligible studies.

Discussion. This overview will synthesize systematic review evidence on consumer perspectives of mental health recovery. Findings could inform future research, clinical practice, and policy by elucidating similarities and differences in recovery models across demographic or diagnostic categories and identifying how environmental, interpersonal, and intrapersonal factors contribute to recovery.

Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42019142970

Study Protocols