Recovery-Oriented Psychopharmacology: Redefining the Goals of Antipsychotic Treatment




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The traditional goals of psychopharmacology stem from the medical model. Rehabilitation interventions attempt to improve aspects of functioning in patients with chronic illnesses that are not responsive to biological intervention. Recovery is a concept emanating from the consumer self-help movement. It describes a move away from the patient role defined by a diagnostic label toward community membership defined by relationships and responsibilities in the community. Comprehensive care for people with psychotic disorders can include attention to each realm. This article provides an overview of the 3 models of care and describes a role for the psychopharmacologist in each as well as his or her unique potential to incorporate all 3. We outline potential synergistic benefits of integrating recovery-, rehabilitation-, and medical-model thinking into the practice of psychopharmacology and explore implications for the goals and outcomes of treatment for people with psychotic disorders.

J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(suppl 3):22-29