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Recovery-Oriented Psychopharmacology: Redefining the Goals of Antipsychotic Treatment

Douglas L. Noordsy, MD; William C. Torrey, MD; Shery Mead, MSW; Mary Brunette, MD; Daniel Potenza, MD; and Mary Ellen Copeland, MS, MA

Published: March 31, 2000

Article Abstract

The traditional goals of psychopharmacology stem from the medical model. Rehabilitation interventionsattempt to improve aspects of functioning in patients with chronic illnesses that are not responsiveto biological intervention. Recovery is a concept emanating from the consumer self-helpmovement. It describes a move away from the patient role defined by a diagnostic label toward communitymembership defined by relationships and responsibilities in the community. Comprehensivecare for people with psychotic disorders can include attention to each realm. This article provides anoverview of the 3 models of care and describes a role for the psychopharmacologist in each as well ashis or her unique potential to incorporate all 3. We outline potential synergistic benefits of integratingrecovery-, rehabilitation-, and medical-model thinking into the practice of psychopharmacology andexplore implications for the goals and outcomes of treatment for people with psychotic disorders.

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