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Mental health service users in researchCritical sociological perspectives$
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Patsy Staddon

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307334

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307334.001.0001

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Theorising service user involvement from a researcher perspective

Theorising service user involvement from a researcher perspective

(p.39) Four Theorising service user involvement from a researcher perspective
Mental health service users in research

Katherine C. Pollard

David Evans

Policy Press

Public involvement in health and social care research is increasingly expected. However this may only include being subjects/participants, or in a limited consultative capacity. Some researchers champion involvement whilst others resist, through fears articulated in terms of control and quality maintenance. Including non-professionals and non-academics as full team members affects how research is conducted, and demands ‘doing’ research in ways with which they are not necessarily familiar or comfortable. Constructions of ‘research’ and the researcher role, and the relationship between ‘expert’ (professional/academic) and ‘situated’ (non-professional/academic) knowledge, may need adaptation. Such issues are examined in relation to current practice and to the wider issues, while also drawing on direct experiences within research teams which included service users and/or carers. The recognition of researchers’ preconceptions about public involvement in research is crucial; perceptions of academic-public power relationships within the research process; and positions researchers adopt with a view to optimising research outputs.

Keywords:   public involvement, preconceptions, research roles

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