The promotion of recovery is the driving philosophy underlying national, state, and local mental health systems. Although numerous recovery-oriented measures have been developed in response, the scientific assessment of recovery measures has lagged behind. The purpose of this literature review was to review the psychometric properties of the Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS), which is arguably the most commonly used measure of recovery in the published literature. Such information is critical for advancing recovery science.
A thorough literature search using the search term “Recovery Assessment Scale” was conducted in August 2012, yielding a total of 222 articles published from around the world. A total of 77 articles that included psychometric data on the RAS were used in this review.
Means and standard deviations across studies were fairly consistent. Overall, the studies indicate very good results for internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and interrater reliability. A number of studies also reported consistent factor structures for the measure. The RAS was found to have positive associations with other related constructs and negative associations with constructs such as symptoms. Finally, the RAS appears to be sensitive to change over time.
The review found significant evidence to support the use of the RAS in recovery science as a means to measure recovery and to include it in mental health research.