As interest in recovery has increased around the world so has the evidence about what helps people. Evidence can come in lots of different forms. There has been a strong emphasis on learning from people’s stories – sometimes also referred to as narrative research.
Alongside sits evidence derived from more empirical approaches, for example, where interventions are tested. One way to look for common themes across these different types of evidence is to undertake a systematic review. This involves looking at a variety of research findings and identifying common themes and findings.
A 2011 systematic review of recovery evidence involved examining 97 research papers on recovery and looking for consistent themes . From this the CHIME framework was developed with each letter standing for a set of helping factors:
• C stands for Connections: having good relationships with other people.
• H is for Hope and optimism that recovery is possible.
• I is for Identity – a positive sense of self.
• M represents finding one’s own meaning and purpose in life.
• E represents empowerment, focusing on strengths and having control over life.
Like all models CHIME is a simplification of a complex process but it can help us as we communicate and describe recovery.
Leamy, M, Bird, VJ, Le Boutillier, C, Williams, J & Slade, M (2011) A conceptual framework for personal recovery in mental health: systematic review and narrative synthesis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 199:445-452 Available along with a number of other relevant publications at: http://www.researchintorecovery.com/