On the brink of genuinely collaborative care: experience-based co-design in mental health

Michael Larkin, Zoë V R Boden, Elizabeth Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
286 Downloads (Pure)


Inpatient mental health services in the United Kingdom are currently dissatisfactory for service-users and staff. For young people with psychosis, being hospitalized is often distressing, and can lead to disengagement with mental health services. This article describes how we took three qualitative research studies about hospitalization in early psychosis (exploring the perspectives of service-users, parents, and staff) and translated them into service improvements developed in collaboration with a range of stakeholders, including service-users, carers, community and inpatient staff, and management. We used an adapted form of experience-based co-design (EBCD), a participatory action-research method for collaboratively improving health care services. The use of EBCD is still relatively novel in mental health settings, and we discuss how we adapted the methodology, and some of the implications of using EBCD with vulnerable populations in complex services. We reflect on both the disappointments and successes and give some recommendations for future research and methodological development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Health Research
Early online date31 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2015.


  • research, action
  • research, collaborative
  • mental health nursing
  • mental health and illness
  • lived experience
  • young adults
  • health care
  • acute / critical
  • early psychosis
  • health care, users’ experience
  • health care, work environment


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