Recent years have witnessed an increasing interest in the concept of ‘recovery’ in the field of mental health and psychiatry. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by qualitative impairments in social interaction and communication skill, along with a restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped pattern of behavior and interests. The diagnosis is lifelong and can be a major impediment to independent living. It has been previously demonstrated that organized and structured forms of intervention, starting from early childhood and developing during all the different life stages, may improve outcome and quality of life in patients with autism. It is therefore conceivable that diverse forms of recovery (e.g. optimal level of motivation, skills, social involvement) may be possible in autism. There are no fully developed tools with which to evaluate the recovery orientation of a service, but the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) has identified the Developing Recovery Enhancing Environments Measure (DREEM) as the most promising of an emerging group of recovery sensitive measures. This study explores the use of DREEM, as a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of recovery-based care in an Italian farm community center specifically designed for adult patients with autism and intellectual disability.
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