To analyze the relationships between insight, medication adherence, addiction, coping and social support—components of Illness Management and Recovery (IMR)—as determinants of clinical, functional and personal recovery in patients with schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses. Our rationale lay in the interrelations between these concepts suggested in a conceptual framework of IMR.
The cross-sectional design used baseline data of outpatient participants in a randomized clinical trial on IMR (N = 187). We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to describe pathways between degrees of insight, medication adherence, addiction, coping and social support, and degree of clinical, functional and personal recovery. We also explored whether clinical recovery mediated functional and personal recovery.
Our final model showed that coping was associated with clinical, functional and personal recovery. Direct associations between coping and functional and personal recovery were stronger than indirect associations via clinical recovery. Although SEM also showed a significant but weak direct pathway between social support and functional recovery, there were no significant pathways either between social support and clinical or personal recovery, or between insight, medication adherence, addiction and any type of recovery.
Coping may be a determinant of all three types of recovery, and social support a determinant of functional recovery. Clinical recovery appears not to be a prerequisite for functional or personal recovery. While our results also suggest the relevance of improving coping skills and of enhancing social support, they only partially support the conceptual framework of IMR.