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User Involvement in Adult Mental Health Settings: User Motivations and Benefits

Neech, Sophie (2015) User Involvement in Adult Mental Health Settings: User Motivations and Benefits. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Neech Sophie DClinPsy thesis July 2015.pdf

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User involvement within healthcare settings has been increasingly prevalent in recent years, where individuals accessing services contribute to their development and delivery. This thesis describes the process of exploring user involvement in adult mental health settings. A review of the literature highlighted that despite government calls for additional emphasis on user involvement to improve services, a number of barriers stop meaningful involvement from being enacted. To avoid tokenism in user involvement practices, power differentials need addressing, and users need to see tangible change as a result of their involvement activities. There has been limited research into users’ motivations for taking on an involvement role within an organisation, yet this is key to understanding criteria for successful involvement. To explore the role of user representatives, including motivations and personal gains, a study informed by action research was developed in collaboration with users of mental health services. Semi-structured interviews with thirteen user representatives were analysed using constructivist grounded theory techniques. The resultant themes highlighted initial motivating factors for user representatives including wanting to give back to services, and making a difference for future users. Experiences of involvement depended on wellness and whether user representatives felt valued. The theme of transition captured shifts in identity, yet staff ultimately governed user involvement activities. Clinical implications are discussed in light of findings, with particular emphasis on the clinical psychology profession. However, development of infrastructure and teams to address specific areas of service development should include staff, user representatives, and users from all levels of an organisation. Further research is suggested to examine the links between user involvement and wellbeing, and dynamics between staff and user representatives to address power relations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Depositing User: Kim MCGAW
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2016 11:46
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2016 11:46
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/2248

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