Protection or empowerment: Mental health service users' views on access and consent for non-therapeutic research

Ulivi, G., Reilly, J. and Atkinson, J.M. (2009) Protection or empowerment: Mental health service users' views on access and consent for non-therapeutic research. Journal of Mental Health, 18(2), pp. 161-168. (doi: 10.1080/09638230802053367)

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Background: The need to ascertain the capacity people with a mental illness have before inviting their participation in non-therapeutic research can lead to a “Catch 22” where those whose capacity is unknown are asked to consent to researchers approaching the person's psychiatrist to find out whether they are able to consent. Aim: To examine service users' views on gaining consent for participation in non-therapeutic research. Method: Two focus groups (with 10 people in each) were carried out in day services for people with a major mental illness. Results: Service users challenged the need for access through their psychiatrist and suggested that approaches through services they used was more appropriate. They also questioned the need for a psychiatrist's assessment of capacity before being sent a questionnaire or invitation, preferring assessment of capacity to take part in qualitative research to come from family or staff in services provided by voluntary organizations which they used. They saw no need for their psychiatrist to be informed of their participation in this type of research. Conclusion: There is a need to re-evaluate how people with a major mental illness are invited to take part in non-therapeutic research, taking account of the views of service users.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Atkinson, Professor Jacqueline
Authors: Ulivi, G., Reilly, J., and Atkinson, J.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Clinical Specialities
Journal Name:Journal of Mental Health

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