York St John University - Research for Occupation and Mental Health

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The Bridge                                                      Issue 32

Bridging the gap between research and practice

This edition of The Bridge is focussed on service users and their involvement in research. One of the key tenets of RCOMH’s is to empower service users to actively participate in our research programmes and RCOMH’s activity. We try to achieve this by being in partnership with a service user organisation, developing partners, including service users in our steering group membership and ensuring that our research involves service users.
EAGER project: service user researchers

A key feature of the Evaluation of the impact of the implementation of government policy on occupational therapy: using assertive outreach as an exemplar (EAGER) project, undertaken by RCOMH, was its development of the role of the service user researcher. The role of the service user researcher was conceptualised by Simon Hughes and Anthony Jones at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. Simon is currently writing this up as part of his PhD which will be submitted in June 2012. Tony Jones and Simon Hughes have also presented this perspective on service user involvement at the conferences where it was well received

They have also had an abstract accepted to present this work at The 8th European Congress of Community Psychology: Community Psychology, Critical Issues later this year. See http://w3.yorksj.ac.uk/health--life-sciences/faculty-of-hls/partnerships-and-projects/8th-eccp.aspx for more information about the conference.

What you need to know about payment

MoneyPayment can be a complex issue to navigate when working with service users from an ethical, practical and administrative perspective. A new publication by Alison Faulkner What you need to know about payment: an introductory guide for members of the public who are considering active involvement in NHS, public health or social care research has been published by Involve. The guide has been written for service users see http://www.invo.org.uk/pdfs/involvepaymentdocument2011.pdf  to download the document for yourself or any service users you are working with.

This document complements the guide that was written for researchers Payment for Involvement: a guide for making payments to members of the public actively involved in NHS, public health and social care research which was published in 2010 See http://www.invo.org.uk/pdfs/PaymentGuideWEB240510.pdf to download this document for yourself.

Service User Research Enterprise (SURE)

The Service User Research Enterprise (SURE), based at the Institute of Psychiatry, undertakes research that tests the effectiveness of services and treatments from the perspective of people with mental health problems and their carers. SURE aims to involve service users in a collaborative way in the whole research process: from design to data collection, through to data analysis and dissemination of results. See http://www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/departments/?locator=300 for more information about SURE.

Study reveals the mental health benefits of regular physical activity

Towards the end of last year the British Journal of Psychiatry published research which found that people who engage in regular physical activity – however intense – are less likely to have symptoms of depression. Crucially, researchers have also found that this activity needs to be taken in people’s leisure time if they are to feel the benefits. The study showed that people who exert themselves at work, by doing lots of walking or lifting, are no less likely to be depressed than people with sedentary jobs.

See the Royal College of Psychiatrists website for more information

Spotlight on research: Handbook of service users’ involvement

This month’s Spotlight on research is a reflection on the book Handbook of service users’ involvement reviewed by Katrina Bannigan, The Director of the Research Centre for Occupation & Mental Health 

Read this month's review »

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