Identifying Clinical Competencies That Support Rehabilitation and Empowerment in Individuals with Severe Mental Illness

Published in: Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, v. 27, no. 3, Aug. 2000, p. 321-333

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1999

by Alexander Young, Sandy Forquer, Anh Tran, Midge Starzynski, Jess Shatkin

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Individuals with severe mental illness often do not receive appropriate treatment or rehabilitation. One approach to improving their care begins by identifying competencies that clinicians should possess. This project developed a set of core clinical competencies that pertain to community-based care and support the goals of empowerment and rehabilitation. Development of the competency set began with review of existing literature and competency statements, and focus groups and interviews with clients, family members, clinicians, managers, experts, and advocates. Representatives from each of these groups participated in a national panel and used a structured process to identify 37 final competencies. Panel members agreed that these competencies are very important in determining outcomes and often are not present in current clinicians. This project demonstrates that it is possible to develop a core competency set that can be strongly supported by diverse groups of stake-holders. These competencies may be useful in clinician training, recruitment, and credentialing efforts.

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