Understanding experiences of and preferences for service user and carer involvement in physical health care discussions within mental health care planning

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Abstract Background People with severe mental illness suffer more physical comorbidity than the general population, which can require a tailored approach to physical health care discussions within mental health care planning. Although evidence pertaining to service user and carer involvement in mental health care planning is accumulating, current understanding of how physical health is prioritised within this framework is limited. Understanding stakeholder experiences of physical health discussions within mental health care planning, and the key domains that underpin this phenomena is essential to improve quality of care. Our study aimed to explore service user, carer and professional experiences of and preferences for service user and carer involvement in physical health discussions within mental health care planning, and develop a conceptual framework of effective user-led involvement in this aspect of service provision. Methods Six focus groups and four telephone interviews were carried out with twelve service users, nine carers, three service users with a dual service user and carer role, and ten mental health professionals recruited from one mental health Trust in the United Kingdom. Data was analysed utilising a thematic approach, analysed separately for each stakeholder group, and combined to aid comparisons. Results No service users or carers recalled being explicitly involved in physical health discussions within mental health care planning. Six prerequisites for effective service user and carer involvement in physical care planning were identified. Three themes confirmed general mental health care planning requirements: tailoring a collaborative working relationship, maintaining a trusting relationship with a professional, and having access to and being able to edit a living document. Three themes were novel to feeling involved in physical health care planning discussions: valuing physical health equally with mental health; experiencing coordination of care between physical-mental health professionals, and having a physical health discussion that is personalised. Conclusions High quality physical health care discussions within the care planning process demands action at multiple levels. A conceptual framework is presented which provides an evidence-based foundation for service level improvement. Further work is necessary to develop a new patient reported outcome measure to enable meaningful quantification of health care quality and patient experience.
Date made available13 Apr 2017
Publisherfigshare

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