Frequently Asked Questions


What does MORS stand for?

MORS stands for Milestones of Recovery Scale.  For more information please visit the “What is MORS” section of this website.


How does MORS relate to the DSM?

A MORS rating is unrelated to an individual’s DSM diagnosis.  MORS ratings are based on the individual’s behavior and quality of life, not symptoms.


Can/should the MORS be used with children? What is the lower age limit?

The MORS was designed for use with adults and should not be used with children.  Please don’t use MORS with individuals under the age of 18.


Can/should the MORS be used with older adults? What is the upper age limit?

The MORS can/should be used with older adults.  The Adult version is designed for individuals over the age of 18. There is an Older Adult version that is designed for individuals 60 years and older. The MORS Milestones are the same for both versions. The Older Adult version contains descriptions and examples that focus on the possible experiences of an older person. There is no upper age limit.  


Is MORS a risk assessment tool?

The MORS is not a risk assessment tool.  However, risk is one of the components considered in deciding on a rating.  The MORS attempts to evaluate the level of risk currently present in an individual’s behavior rather than looking at the individual’s history of risky behavior.


Does the MORS measure the individual's perspective on recovery?

No.  The MORS only takes into account the service provider’s perspective on the individual’s recovery.  MORS ratings can be shared with the individual and may prompt valuable discussion.


Are there different scales for different cultures? Is the scale culturally competent?

There are no culture or ethnic specific versions of the MORS.  It is expected that the individual doing the rating is culturally competent and proficient so the rating accurately reflects the individual’s culturally or ethnically based definitions of meaningful activities, roles, and relationships.


How does MORS contribute to the reduction of stigma in the community?

The MORS requires mental health staff to think differently about how the individuals they are helping can be involved with the communities of their choice by developing meaningful roles beyond the mental health system.


How much does it cost to use MORS?

There is no per administration fee to use the MORS.  The only costs associated are for the required training all MORS users must receive before using the scale.  More information on training costs are on the Training and Resources page or by contacting us.


Is the MORS a clinical or an administrative tool? How can it be used for eith/both applications?

The MORS was originally developed as an administrative tool to measure where individuals are in their journey of recovery and produce data that describe the journey of recovery over time. During its creation and testing, the tool was also shown to have clinical/therapeutic value. Strategies and interventions based on the individual’s level of recovery can be discussed in team meetings and other collaborative environments.


How often should the MORS be administered?

The length of time between administrations of the MORS will vary, primarily depending on the caseload of the staff doing the rating. Generally, the lower the caseload, the more often the ratings can be done. The more frequently MORS is administered the more data points are collected which can allow for more meaningful analysis. The creators of MORS recommend that MORS is administered quarterly at a minimum. MORS is administered monthly in the MHA service programs where it was created and tested.


Who should complete the MORS?

Any person employed by the program where the individual receives services who has received “Introduction to MORS” training may complete the MORS. The employee who knows the individual best and/or had the most contact with the individual in the period of time being assessed is often the best choice. MORS ratings can also be completed via consensus in a team to allow for discussion.


Should the MORS ratings be done individually or by consensus on a team?

We believe that it is highly desirable to complete the MORS ratings via consensus in a team to allow for discussion. Team rating processes promote greater interrater reliability and the discussions that occur are where the clinical/therapeutic value of the MORS is greatest.


Is it appropriate to use MORS in a crisis?

MORS should not be used as a risk assessment tool or during a crisis.


Are the MORS ratings applied to the individuals I serve going to make them ineligible for services or housing?

No. MORS should not be used as a sole indicator of where an individual should be in a service delivery system. It can inform and help staff develop strategies in how to best serve the people who are part of our programs. 


How will we use the MORS where I work?

Many of the decisions about how to use MORS (like how often it is administered) are individual to the programs using the scale. MHALA suggests administering the MORS quarterly (at a minimum) in a team environment. MHALA advocates that valid MORS data collected over time can inform decisions about services and level of care. For more information about how a 3-stage model of care system can be applied using MORS, please see the Training and Resources page.


Is MORS compatible with Medicaid billing?

Yes. The time spent developing a MORS milestones rating can be billable as an assessment. That amount of time is so small, however, that it will likely be best documented at the end of another service with the individual. Because the MORS is an assessment of an individual’s current status, it will generally be accepted as part of any Medicaid documentation. Because local medicaid rules differ, it’s always better to check first.


If you have any additional questions or would like more information, contact us.