Using a digital personal recovery resource in routine mental health practice: feasibility, acceptability and outcomes

John Farhall, David Castle, Emma Constantine, Fiona Foley, Michael Kyrios, Susan Rossell, Chelsea Arnold, Nuwan Leitan, Kristi Ann Villagonzalo, Lisa Brophy, Ellie Fossey, Denny Meyer, Cathrine Mihalopoulos, Greg Murray, Cassy Nunan, Leon Sterling, Neil Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Digital technologies enable the dissemination of multimedia resources to support adults with serious mental illness in their self-management and personal recovery. However, delivery needs to accommodate engagement and accessibility challenges. 

Aims: We examined how a digital resource, designed for mental health workers and consumers to use together in session, would be used in routine practice. 

Methods: Thirty consumers and their workers participated. The web-based resource, Self-Management And Recovery Technology (SMART), was available to use within and between sessions, for a 6-month period. Workers initiated in-session use where relevant. Feasibility was explored via uptake and usage data; and acceptability and impact via questionnaires. A pre-post design assessed recovery outcomes for consumers and relationship outcomes for consumers and workers. 

Results: In participating mental health practitioner-consumer dyads, consumers gave strong acceptability ratings, and reported improved working relationships. However, the resource was typically used in one-third or fewer appointments, with consumers expressing a desire for greater in-session use. Improvements in self-rated personal recovery were not observed, possibly contributed to by low usage. 

Conclusions: In-session use was found helpful by consumers but may be constrained by other demands in mental health care delivery: collaborative use may require dedicated staff time or more formal implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-574
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number3
Early online date7 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • community mental health services
  • Digital mental health
  • digital tools
  • lived experience video
  • personal recovery
  • psychosis
  • tablet computers


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