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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the development of service user involvement in research and user-controlled research, from its origins in the early 1990s to the present day where mental health researchers are expected to involve service users. It looks at why service users wanted to be involved in research and their issues of concern, including the effects of treatment, staff attitudes, and human rights. Values in research are linked to the epistemological underpinnings of research, and it is argued that service users’ ways of knowing based on experience are in conflict with mainstream research based on claims of objectivity and neutrality. Service user involvement at all levels from consultation to control is explored with examples. The benefits and problems of working in partnership are explored, and the chapter ends with an assessment of the impact of involvement in research and how it can lead to change.

Keywords: service user, survivor, mental health research, values, involvement

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