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Open Access A conceptual review of family involvement in acute mental health treatment: Methodology and personal reflections

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This paper describes a process developed in order to work collaboratively on a conceptual review of some of the family involvement models that are used in acute mental health treatment. The members of the review team consisted of clinicians, academics and people with lived experience of mental illness and mental health services. This combination of backgrounds had the potential to present many challenges to the dynamics of the group. There were varying levels of research knowledge and experience within the group, as well as a lack of literature describing how to actualize their potential to best effect. Financial resources were minimal, which meant that the number of meetings had to be limited. Most importantly, however, there was the strong potential for a power imbalance within the group during the review process. Senior academics and clinicians were being expected to help to create a research environment in which the patient voice carried as much weight as theirs. In this paper, we discuss how we overcame these challenges and ended up with a process that was coherent, equable and enjoyable.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

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  • Research for All is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    Research for All is supporting the 16th International conference for Public Communication of Science and Technology being held in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, 26–28 May 2020. Authors of contributions presented at the conference are invited subsequently to submit papers to Research for All for a special feature on Public Communication of Science and Technology.

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