Concept Analysis of Recovery in Mental Illness in Young Adulthood

Claire Odile McCauley, Hugh McKenna, Sinead Keeney, Derek F McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
343 Downloads (Pure)


Recovery, as a concept, emerged as a core philosophy of the service user movement that began in the late 1960s and 1970s. Previous reviews on recovery in mental health have presented definitions or a conceptual framework; however, over time it has been open to disparate interpretations.Aim:To conduct the first concept analysis of mental health recovery in young adulthood within various multidisciplinary contexts.Method:Rodgers’s (2000) six-stepped evolutionary method enabled the analysis of recovery’s conceptual characteristics, the identification of an exemplar and the proposition of a hypothesis with implications for practice. Results:The derivation of the term recovery does not convey its’ identified conceptual characteristics. Identified attributes include the reawakening of hope, reclaiming a positive self and meaning through personal growth. Antecedents include the disruption of illness, stigmatisation, internal inventory and contemplative recovery. Identified consequences include the return to normality, reconstruction of self and active social connection.Conclusion/ Implications for Practice:The new conceptual definition is the reawakening of hope and rediscovery of a positive sense of self, through finding meaning and purpose within personal growth and connection using creative self-care coping strategies. This paper reveals an apparent disparity between professional and personal interpretations of recovery. Therefore, the implication for mental health nursing is the congruence of recovery-orientated practice with the process of recovery experienced by young adult service users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-589
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number8
Early online date7 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished online - 7 Jul 2015


  • Concept analysis
  • mental health
  • mental illness
  • psychiatry
  • recovery
  • young adults


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