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Perceptions of wellness recovery action plan (WRAP) training: a systematic review and metasynthesis

Louise Canacott (Trent DClinPsy Programme, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Lincoln, UK)
Anna Tickle (Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK and IDD Psychology, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK)
Nima Moghaddam (Trent DClinPsy Programme, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 16 October 2020

Issue publication date: 25 November 2020




The purpose of this systematic review was to address two questions: what is the qualitative evidence for the effects of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) training, as perceived by adults with mental health difficulties using it? What is the quality of qualitative literature evaluating WRAP?


Five electronic reference databases and the EThOS database for unpublished research were systematically searched, as well as two pertinent journals. Study quality was assessed using Critical Appraisal Skills Programme criteria and results analysed using thematic synthesis.


Of 73 studies, 12 qualitative papers met inclusion criteria and were generally good quality. Analyses demonstrated expected findings, such as increased understanding and active management of mental health in the context of group processes. Results also highlighted that WRAP training promoted acceptance and improved communication with professionals. Peer delivery of WRAP was highly valued, with contrasting perceptions of peers and professionals evident. Some cultural considerations were raised by participants from ethnic minorities.

Research limitations/implications

WRAP training participation has positive self-perceived effects beyond those captured by measures of recovery. Broader implications are suggested regarding earlier access to WRAP, professional support and communication between professionals and service users. Recommendations for further research include the relationship between social support and illness self-management and peer-delivered acceptance-based approaches. Multiple time-point qualitative studies could offer insights into WRAP training processes and whether changes are sustained.


As the first review of qualitative evidence regarding WRAP training, value is offered both through increased understanding of outcomes and also guidance for future research.



This review was funded by Higher Education England East Midlands as part of a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.


Canacott, L., Tickle, A. and Moghaddam, N. (2020), "Perceptions of wellness recovery action plan (WRAP) training: a systematic review and metasynthesis", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 345-366.



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