Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 111–125 | Cite as

Inpatients’ and Providers’ Experiences with User Involvement in Inpatient Care

Original Paper


A qualitative study of inpatients’ perspectives on what it means to be involved in their own care, and providers’ experiences with encouraging user involvement in care planning and service provision is reported. Twenty semi-structured interviews with inpatients, fourteen log reports from providers and sixteen sets of written minutes from staff meetings constitute the study data. Differences were found between inpatient and provider perspectives. Inpatients reported few opportunities to have meaningful input in the decision-making regarding their care, while providers reported difficulty engaging inpatients into discussions or care planning. Although participants described providers as nice, understanding and supportive, these qualities did not always translate into their feeling seen and heard as unique individuals. When experiencing difficulty in engaging inpatients in existing forms of treatment, providers reported being aware of few options for them to try in increasing user involvement. Such different perspectives will need to be addressed in future efforts to increase service user involvement in inpatient care.


User involvement Mental health services Qualitative data analysis Inpatients Service providers 



The authors would like to thank all of the study participants in the community mental health centers for engaging in the research project calling attention to service user involvement, also providing data to this paper. We thank Marit Steen for her efforts in facilitating the staff meetings. We also express thanks to Professor Kjell Hausken & Professor Knud Knudsen at the University of Stavanger and John Strauss at Yale University for their comments on the early drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of StavangerStavangerNorway
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Program for Recovery and Community Health, School of Medicine and Institution for Social and Policy StudiesYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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