The purpose of this paper is to describe how an older people’s mental health service involves service users in research and service improvement projects, the value of this work and the ways in which barriers to user-led research have been approached and handled.
The authors conducted a reflective review of their experiences of running “ResearchNet”, a group aimed at putting service users’ perspectives at the heart of service improvement projects, which benefits from and develops its members’ related skills. The authors explore overcoming barriers to service user involvement in research.
This paper identified the following key elements that enabled ResearchNet to overcome barriers which might be found in service user–led research: recruitment processes; identifying research projects; building confidence, sustaining motivation and overcoming setbacks; developing service user’s research skills; keeping multiple views in mind; involving people with dementia; being responsive to group members’ needs; and keeping the group safe.
Oxleas National Health Service is currently looking at integrating with the quality improvement team to provide further structure and training to group members.
This paper explores an under-represented area of research – service user inclusion in older adult mental health research and service improvement. It provides much needed clinical implications for clinicians seeking to increase clients’ involvement in research and service development projects.
Smith, S., Abbas, M. and Zegarra, A. (2020), "Overcoming challenges in service user involvement in an older people’s mental health service", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 151-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-04-2020-0016Download as .RIS
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