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Service user perspectives on their roles in undergraduate medical training about mental health

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Medical Teacher
Issue number6
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)e152-e156
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background: Current policy states that ‘service users and carers should be involved in planning, providing and evaluating training for all health care professionals. We wished to explore service users’ views regarding undergraduate psychiatry.

Aims: We aimed to explore user perspectives on the specific role of service users in the delivery of teaching psychiatry.

Method: The study design was qualitative and used focus groups. The study took place in a community context with one focus group in Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln and Nottingham. Four focus groups were run with a total of 28 participants (16 women and 12 men, all white). No exclusion criteria were applied. The lead of each group were contacted and they then recruited volunteers from their membership.

Results: The key findings were that participants felt that service users could play important roles in contextualising the part mental health plays in people's lives; dispel myths and fantasies about mental health; offer positive aspects of mental health to counterbalance the media; illustrate diversity within mental health and hope and recovery. Participants also identified the potential challenges to their participation including vulnerabilities especially at critical points in people's illnesses; perceived credibility – lack of support from some involved in academic roles; lack of appropriate training and support and issues of power and lack of genuine partnership in the planning and delivery of teaching. They were favourable about the development of guidelines as long as they involved a range of perspectives.

Conclusions: Service users present a range of ways in which they could be involved to enhance the educational experience of medical students in psychiatry.

Read More: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01421590802047273