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Engaging users of mental health services and their carers of the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative in evaluation and research, collaborative training and support in qualitative research methods and tools

Markell Boudioni, Senior Research Fellow, was recently involved in a project aimed at encouraging and engaging service users and carers in research activity.
17 July 2013

The project identified the potential for development of a longer term working partnership between service users and their carers and researchers. The research showed what is needed to build the capacity of service users and carers to participate in research and to initiate and conduct their own research.

A series of workshops in qualitative research methods and tools were delivered in September/December 2012 by Markella Boudioni, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Leadership and Service Improvement, in collaboration with two service users who had been trained in similar methods previously. The funding was from Lambeth NHS through a Guy's and St Thomas Charity grant.

Ten users of mental health services and their carers attended the 6 initial half-day afternoon workshops, covering basic principles of qualitative research, interviewing and conducting interviews, basic principles of qualitative analysis, thematic analysis and conducting analysis of interview data. Seven users and carers also attended three advanced sessions, where they had the opportunity to put the skills they gained in practice, working with a specific research question.

Although there are other training and support initiatives offered to service users in England currently, this project may be considered innovative, in terms of general skills provided, collaborative delivery, data analysis training provision, diversity and inclusion.

If you would like further information regarding this project please contact Markella Boudioni or call 020 7815 6745.