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Lauren Bishop, Ann Hemingway and Sara Ashencaen Crabtree
UK mental health strategy calls for interventions that empower people to self-manage their condition. In lifestyle coaching, coach and client work collaboratively on…
UK mental health strategy calls for interventions that empower people to self-manage their condition. In lifestyle coaching, coach and client work collaboratively on positive behaviour change to improve client health. There is debate about the appropriateness of coaching for mental health, yet claims have not been supported with evidence. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore the nature and scope of the existing research literature in this field.
The growing evidence base shows positive outcomes of coaching; for instance, symptom reduction, enhanced self-management and achievement of personal goals.
The evidence base is small and of variable quality, offering insights that warrant further exploration.
Coaching not only supports better self-management but also addresses further mental health strategy priorities (such as improved physical health and social functioning). Coaches need not be mental health experts; therefore coaching may be a cost-effective intervention.
As mental ill-health prevalence continues to rise despite widespread use of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and medication, there is a need to explore how novel approaches such as coaching might be integrated into mental healthcare.
This is the first study to collate the evidence on mental health coaching, highlighting its extensive potential, which should be further explored in research and practice.
Jonathan Parker and Sara Ashencaen Crabtree
This paper aims to consider the contentious issue of covert research in studying the social contexts of vulnerable groups. It explores its potential utility in areas where…
This paper aims to consider the contentious issue of covert research in studying the social contexts of vulnerable groups. It explores its potential utility in areas where overt strategies may be problematic or denied; and examines and problematises the issue of participant consent.
Using a literature-based review and selected previous studies, the paper explores the uses and abuses of covert research in relation to ethics review proceedings governing social research, with an especial focus on vulnerability.
Findings indicate that although the use of covert research is subject to substantial critique by apparently transgressing the often unquestioned moral legitimacy of informed consent, this carries ethical and practical utility for research related to safeguarding concerns. Arguably covert research enables research access to data likely to reveal abusive and oppressive practices.
Covert research assists in illuminating the hidden voices and lives of vulnerable people that may otherwise remain inaccessible. Such research needs to be subject to rigorous ethical standards to ensure that it is both justified and robust.
Emphasising the need to consider all angles, questions and positions when addressing the social problem of adult protection and safeguarding.
Increasingly social research is treated as being as potentially harmful as medical research. Ethics review tends towards conservative conformity, legitimising methodologies that may serve less social utility than other forms of investigation that privilege the safeguarding of vulnerable people.
Bridget Penhale and Margaret Flynn