Abstract: This article reports on the involvement of people with lived experience of the criminal justice system in a clinical trial of a new approach to care of prisoners with mental health problems near the time of their release. The authors describe the lengths they went to, to make involvement meaningful and unthreatening for the people who were involved. They set up a group of Peer Researchers that met every two weeks for ten months, and who took responsibility for the rules of how they would work. The Academic researchers appointed an experienced facilitator, who also had lived experience of the justice system, who was key to the successful running of the group. The team made sure all the group’s activities were varied, interactive, and accessible and all successes were celebrated. The group was given regular feedback and plans were made for what would happen at the end of the project.
The Peer Researchers were involved and made a difference to the study documents, the development of the care intervention and the design of the trial. They trained the academic researchers, as well as collecting and analysing data. The Peer Researchers gained confidence and an improved sense of self‐worth. The Academic Researchers gained skills, knowledge and an increased openness to being challenged and learning from the Peer Researchers.
Challenges included differences in priorities for timescales and dissemination, resource limitations and the use of Peer Researchers’ names. Further research is required to understand what might be of relevance for other “seldom heard” groups.
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Categories: journal article service users and carers researchers research commissioners general principles of good practice ethical issues designing of research undertaking research analysing and interpreting data writing up and disseminating forensic mental health service users involving seldom heard groups staff in research organisations
Date Entered: 2018/11/09
Date Edited: 2018/11/09