How to implement Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) in mental health service settings: evaluation of the implementation strategy
OBJECTIVE The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the statewide implementation of the illness management and recovery program, a curriculum-based intervention for adults with severe mental illnesses. METHODS Using knowledge gained from the National Evidence-Based Practices Project, the ACT Center of Indiana assisted seven community mental health centers with implementation of the illness management and recovery program. Implementation was conducted by trainers, who provided in-depth skills training, ongoing monitoring and supervision, and consultation as needed. At six and 12 months, the fidelity of implementation was assessed by use of the Illness Management and Recovery Fidelity Scale, and changes in illness self-management, hope, and satisfaction with services were assessed for 324 consumers with severe mental illness by use of the Illness Management and Recovery Scale, the Adult State Hope Scale, and the Satisfaction With Services Scale, respectively. RESULTS The illness management and recovery program was successfully implemented at six of seven sites; five sites achieved high fidelity by 12 months and the sixth by 24 months. Self-reports of consumers and clinicians indicated significant changes in illness self-management. Consumers reported increased hope but no changes in satisfaction with services. CONCLUSIONS The illness management and recovery program can be implemented with a high degree of fidelity and may be a meaningful way for mental health providers to promote recovery and provide an evidence-based intervention.