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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Psychiatry 1/2019

Associations between provider communication and personal recovery outcomes

BMC Psychiatry > Ausgabe 1/2019
Eunice C. Wong, Rebecca L. Collins, Joshua Breslau, M. Audrey Burnam, Matthew S. Cefalu, Elizabeth Roth
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12888-019-2084-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



This study examined whether two types of provider communication considered important to quality of care (i.e., shows respect and explains understandably) are associated with mental health outcomes related to personal recovery (i.e., connectedness, hope, internalized stigma, life satisfaction, and empowerment). This study also tested whether these associations varied by the type of provider seen (i.e., mental health professional versus general medical doctor).


This sample included participants from the 2014 California Well-Being Survey, a representative survey of California residents with probable mental illness, who had recently obtained mental health services (N = 429). Multiple regression was used to test associations between provider communication and personal recovery outcomes and whether these associations were modified by provider type.


Providers showing respect was associated with better outcomes across all five of the personal recovery domains, connectedness (β = 1.12; p < .001), hope (β = 0.72; p < .0001), empowerment (β = 0.38; p < .05), life satisfaction (β = 1.10; p < .001) and internalized stigma (β = − 0.49; p < .05). Associations between provider showing respect and recovery outcomes were stronger among those who had seen a mental health professional only versus a general medical doctor only.


Respectful communication may result in greater personal recovery from mental health problems. Respecting consumer perspectives is a hallmark feature of both recovery-oriented services and quality care, yet these fields have operated independently of one another. Greater integration between these two areas could significantly improve recovery-oriented mental health outcomes and quality of care.
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