Participation of mental health consumers in research: Training addressed and reliability assessed

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia.
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (Impact Factor: 0.85). 06/2012; 59(3):218-24. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2012.01011.x
Source: PubMed


A call for active inclusion of consumers in research; recognising and valuing the knowledge that arises through lived experience, is made in the literature. However, genuine inclusion of consumers as members of the research team remains rare. Opponents present two barriers: lack of required knowledge and skills and lack of capacity to conduct rigorous research.
This study involved a collaborative process to develop training materials for consumer researchers. Reliability of self-report outcome data collected by five trained consumers was then examined.
Quantitative results suggest that trained consumers can facilitate self-report interviews to the high standard expected by the general research community.
This study provides both methods and resources to extend occupational therapy consumer-centred practice into the realm of research.

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