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The impacts of implementing recovery innovations: a conceptual framework grounded in qualitative research

Piat, Myra; Wainwright, Megan; Rivest, Marie-Pier; Sofouli, Eleni; von Kirchenheim, Tristan; Albert, Hélène; Casey, Regina; Labonté, Lise; O’Rourke, Joseph J.; LeBlanc, Sébastien

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Myra Piat

Marie-Pier Rivest

Eleni Sofouli

Tristan von Kirchenheim

Hélène Albert

Regina Casey

Lise Labonté

Joseph J. O’Rourke

Sébastien LeBlanc


Background Implementing mental health recovery into services is a policy priority in Canada and globally. To that end, a 5 year study was undertaken with seven organisations providing mental health and housing services to people living with a mental health challenge to implement guidelines for the transformation of services and systems towards a recovery-orientation. Multi-stakeholder implementation teams were established and a facilitated process guided teams to choosing and planning for the implementation of one recovery innovation. The recovery innovations chosen were hiring peer support workers, Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), a family support group, and staff recovery training. Methods This study reports on data collected at the post-implementation stage. 90 service users, service providers, family members, managers, other actors and knowledge users participated in 41 group, individual or dyad semi-structured interviews. The interview guides included open-ended questions eliciting participants’ impressions regarding the impact of implementing the innovation on service users, service providers and organisations. We applied a collaborative qualitative content analysis approach in NVivo12 to coding and interpreting the data generated from these questions. Results Eighteen impacts of implementing recovery innovations from the perspectives of diverse stakeholder groups were identified. Three impacts of working as an implementation team member and as part of a research project were also identified. Impacts were developed into a conceptual framework organised around four overall categories of impact: Ways of being, Ways of interacting, Ways of thinking, and Ways of operating and doing business. Conclusions The IMpacts of Recovery Innovations (IMRI) framework version 1 can assist researchers, evaluators and decision-makers identify, explore and understand impact in the context of recovery innovations. The framework helps fill a gap in conceptualising service and organisation-level impacts. Future research is needed to validate the framework and map it to existing methods for studying impact.


Piat, M., Wainwright, M., Rivest, M., Sofouli, E., von Kirchenheim, T., Albert, H., …LeBlanc, S. (2022). The impacts of implementing recovery innovations: a conceptual framework grounded in qualitative research. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 16(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 14, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 9, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Apr 3, 2023
Publicly Available Date Apr 3, 2023
Journal International Journal of Mental Health Systems
Publisher BioMed Central
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 1
Public URL


Published Journal Article (1.3 Mb)

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