Measuring RecoveryLast week Dr Skye Barbic presented on the Personal Recovery Outcome Measure (PROM) at Island Community Mental Health.

The PROM questionnaire is designed for people who are recovering from mental illness. But it can be used by everyone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Clearly we don’t need to be recovering from a debilitating mental illness to be pursuing improved mental health. In fact, the WHO definition for mental health could be the definition for purpose in life.

How it Works

The questionnaire tells a story of recovery, from the very earliest stages of the process to total wellness.

That’s why all of us can use it: wellness is a goal we all share no matter where we are stating from.

This tool quantifies that which can otherwise feel amorphous. It enables a person to track their progress over time, and also enables comparison between people.

There are 30 multiple-choice questions in PROM and they are sequential.

The metaphor Dr Barbic uses to describe measurement of recovery using PROM is a 30-cm ruler. The whole ruler represents total wellness. For any of us.

Almost no one is at 30. All of us are somewhere on the ruler.

Ruler

Each one of the questions, in order, represents another increment (a centimeter) on the ruler.

By completing the PROM questionnaire we end up with a score. Some number out of the highest possible total of 30.

This score enables you to track changes over time.

If you missed the link earlier in this post,  you can find the questionnaire here.

PROM questionsRecovery

After scoring, the questionnaire enables you to identify areas of strength as well as areas to work on.

Your score also refers you to an intervention opportunity as part of your story of recovery.

So, for example, a score of 16 refers you to statement #16 “I have new interests”.

You could choose to work on something else, but something around 16 might be a good place to start.

Dr Barbic suggested that we look at a range of options, three below and three above our score.

PROM questions 2Implications for Youth

I was curious about whether this questionnaire could be used with youth. Before I could put up my hand to ask, Dr Barbic told us that it can, but that a youth version is currently under development.

One example: Youth don’t care about sleep. But they care very much about intimate relationships. So those statements (#5 & #29) may need to be adjusted in a tool developed for youth.

She’ll have more information in April.

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