Experiences of user involvement in mental health research: exploring reflections from a service user researcher using autoethnography

Fox, Joanna (2020) Experiences of user involvement in mental health research: exploring reflections from a service user researcher using autoethnography. Mental Health Review Journal, 25 (3). pp. 281-294. ISSN 2042-8758

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-11-2019-0040


Purpose: User involvement in research is entering the mainstream of traditional mental health research. In practice, there are diverse ways in which the process of involvement is experienced by mental health service user researchers. This paper aims to explore two diverse experiences of involvement by the researcher. Approach: Autoethnography is the research methodology employed in this study; it combines a process of reflective writing and critical analysis which enables me to explore my experiences of being both a service user and academic researcher. Two accounts of my involvement in mental health research are presented: one which builds on a consultation model, and the other, based on co-production principles. Findings: Experiences of power-sharing and collaborative decision-making, alongside disempowerment are discussed; leading to exploration of the theoretical and practical processes for promoting participation of users in research. Research limitations: The research is limited because it is undertaken by one individual in a local setting, and is therefore is not generalisable; however it provides useful insights into the diverse processes of involvement that many service users experience. Practical implications: Recommendations are presented to support the involvement of service users in research; with final remarks offered considering the possible future implementation of this still emerging tradition. Originality: This paper reflects on the experiences of one service user academic involved in research and highlights diverse experiences of both empowering and disempowering involvement, providing recommendations for best practice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: mental health, service user involvement, expertise-by-experience, autoethnography
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2020 13:38
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:52
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705768

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