A Pilot Waitlist Randomized Controlled Trial of My Voice: A Electronic Decision Support Intervention for Self-Directed Recovery
Purpose: Although great improvements have occurred over the past century, an imbalance of power and autonomy exists between individuals with psychiatric disabilities and their treatment providers. Electronic decision support interventions (EDSI’s) have been developed to help individuals increase consumer self-determination and decision-making in care. The MY VOICE: Strengths-based and Self-Directed Recovery Planning is an EDSI which assists consumers in writing their own recovery plans. The purpose of this randomized waitlist controlled pilot study of the MY VOICE program was to test the hypothesis that participation in a self-directed EDSI program will lead to increases in consumer self-identified empowerment, self-determination and recovery. Findings indicated that participation in the MY VOICE program in comparison to the control group was a significant predictor of consumer self-identified recovery and wasn’t a significant predictor of self-identified empowerment or self-determination.
Methods: Consumers attending a local consumer run organization participated in a pilot study of the MY VOICE program in downtown Kansas City. Consumers had to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disability in order to participate. One hundred and ten individuals participated in the study with 57 in the intervention group and 53 in the control group. The study included three time points at six week intervals. The time 1 interview included a questionnaire seeking participant demographic information and three psychometric scales 1) The Empowerment Scale, 2) The Self-Determination Scale, and 3) the Self-Identified Stage of Recovery Scale. After the time 1 interview, those in the intervention condition began using the MY VOICE program and those in the waitlist condition continued receiving services as usual. At time 2 individuals in both conditions were re-administered the three psychometric scales. After time 2 both groups began using the MY VOICE program and were administered the three psycho-metric scales for a third and final time six weeks later at time 3.
Results: Multiple linear regression was used to determine whether the independent variable representing group membership predicted increase in stage of recovery scores while controlling for education level and baseline scores on stage of recovery. Regression results revealed that the overall model explained a significant proportion of the variance and that group membership significantly predicted recovery scores (p < .001). However, group membership did not significantly predict improvement on empowerment or self-determination.
Implications: The results may provide initial support for the use of EDSI’s to help individuals with psychiatric disabilities increase their recovery. Future research will need to further explore reasons why empowerment and self-determination were not influenced by the intervention and whether other outcomes are influenced by EDSI use.