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


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
Pages (from-to)1463-1476
Number of pages14
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number11
Early online date31 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • attitude of health personnel
  • attitude to health
  • health services research
  • inpatients
  • mental health services
  • hospital nursing staff
  • parents
  • professional-family relations
  • professional-patient relations
  • psychotic disorders
  • state medicine
  • United Kingdom


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