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First published online August 4, 2014

Barriers to and Facilitators of the Acceptance Process for Individuals With Serious Mental Illness


The process of acceptance of mental illness is a central component of recovery and has been linked to functioning, illness management, and quality of life. A number of barriers and facilitators have been theorized as impacting this process. This study was conducted with 30 participants with serious mental illness (a major psychiatric disorder with impairment in multiple areas of functioning) to elicit the barriers to and facilitators of the acceptance of mental illness. Grounded theory methodology was utilized to analyze the 30 semistructured interviews. Results revealed barriers to and facilitators of acceptance of mental illness at the micro level (cognitive, emotional, behavioral, identity-related), meso level (relational), and macro level (cultural, systemic). Clinical and research implications are discussed with regard to facilitating acceptance of mental illness.

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Lauren Mizock, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Worcester State University, Worcester, Massachusetts, and an adjunct assistant professor at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Zlatka Russinova, PhD, is a senior research associate in the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Uma Chandrika Millner, PhD, is a research associate at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

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Published In

Article first published online: August 4, 2014
Issue published: September 2014


  1. bipolar disorder
  2. depression
  3. grounded theory
  4. mental health and illness
  5. psychosocial issues
  6. qualitative analysis
  7. recovery
  8. rehabilitation
  9. research, qualitative
  10. schizophrenia

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© The Author(s) 2014.
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Published online: August 4, 2014
Issue published: September 2014
PubMed: 25091512



Lauren Mizock
Worcester State University, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Zlatka Russinova
Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Uma Chandrika Millner
Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Lauren Mizock, Psychology Department, Worcester State University, 486 Chandler St., Worcester, MA 01602, USA. Email: [email protected]

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