Development of an Instrument to Measure Recovery-Promoting Competence among Latino Mental Health Provider

E. Sally Rogers, Sc.D.
Principal Co-Investigator

Zlatka Russinova, Ph.D.
Principal Co-Investigator

Maria E. Restrepo-Toro, M.S., CPRP
Project Director

Project Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a new instrument measuring the quality of the relationships Spanish-speaking individuals with psychiatric conditions have with their mental health and/or rehabilitation providers. This study is funded by the National Institute on Rehabilitation Research.

More specifically, this instrument will assess the extent to which different mental health and rehabilitation providers employ practices that have a positive impact on the process of recovery. The use of this instrument will contribute to improving the mental health and rehabilitation services offered to people with psychiatric conditions.

Project Background

Recently, the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, using a participatory approach, developed and conducted extensive testing and validation on the Recovery Promoting Relationships Scale (RPRS) (Russinova, Rogers & Ellison, 2006). The rationale for developing this scale was to move beyond the “core” conditions of the helping relationship (such as respect and empathy) and to establish and validate a scale measuring specific strategies to promote recovery among individuals with psychiatric disabilities.

Research also suggests that central to the provision of good mental health care is the need for skilled and knowledgeable rehabilitation and mental health practitioners. This need is particularly critical for Spanish speaking mental health consumers. Over the past decade, authors have cited an increasing urgency for culturally sensitive mental health and rehabilitation services for the Latino population in the United States while at the same time acknowledging the shortage of Latino providers to deliver such services (Ruiz, 1997; Sanchez et al., 1996; Sanchez et al. 1997; Taylor, 1999).

Given the need to increase access to mental health services for individuals who are Spanish speaking and the dearth of competent and highly trained Spanish speaking mental health workers, the overarching purpose of this project is to culturally adapt this scale for use in four Spanish-speaking cultures.

Project Goals

The project will achieve the following goals:

Goal One:
To identify and refine the recovery-oriented competencies required of providers serving mental health consumers of four Spanish speaking cultures.

Goal Two:
To adapt the Recovery Promoting Relationships Scale to be culturally relevant to mental health consumers of four Spanish speaking cultures.

Goal Three:
To test the psychometric properties of the Spanish Recovery Promoting Relationships Scale.

Goal Four:
To pilot test the clinical utility of the Spanish Recovery Promoting Relationships Scale.

Goal Five:
To systematically develop implications for practice, training of practitioners and policy and broadly disseminate the results.

The development of an instrument to measure the recovery-promoting competence among Latino mental health providers will help address the critical need for recovery-oriented mental health services for the Spanish speaking population that are culturally informed.


We have partnered with Community Research Foundation in San Diego, CA, the National Center for Hispanic Mental Health in New Jersey, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, and Casa Primavera (PDF).


Ruiz, P. (2005). Hispanics’ mental healthcare plight. Behavioral Health Management, 25(6), 17-19.

Russinova, Z., Rogers, E.S., & Ellison, M.L. (2006). Recovery Promoting Relationships Scale Manual. Boston: Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Sanchez, A. M., Davis, K., Lee, E., Sue, S., Balderrama, H., Pumariega, A., Fleming, C. M., King, J., McCombs, J. G., & Wohlford, P. (1997). Cultural competence standards in managed mental health care for four underserved/underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Boulder, CO: Western Interstate Commission for Education (WICHE).

Taylor, N. M. (1999). Achieving cultural competence in mental health services: Transferring theory into practice. [Special issue]. Mental Health Issues Today, 3.