Setting up a mental health service user research group : a process paper.

Anne Fothergill, Brian Mitchell, Allyson Lipp, Ruth Northway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is claimed that the involvement of mental health service users in research remains fragmented, and expertise in involving service users is still developing. This paper explains how a group of mental health service users and carers formed a Research Development Group inWales. This is a process paper which describes how the group was established and funded as part of the United Kingdom Clinical Research Networks. It explores the rationale for a Mental Health Service User and Carer Partnership Research Development Group and the challenges experienced in setting up the group, including activities such as a current research project. This project involves collaboration between group members and nurses from a local National Health Service Trust, which is helping to build research capacity. This project is used to illustrate the issues raised, and we provide critical reflections of this process. The power balances that posed challenges to a group of this type are explored and ways to overcome them are suggested. The research group is still in its infancy but has aspirations to move from being a user involvement group to a user-led group incorporating the differing viewpoints and promoting an equal contribution from its members.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2012


  • collaboration
  • mental health
  • nursing research
  • process
  • user involvement
  • user led research


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