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A deliberative study into the impact of integration on mental health social work in England: merely a dialogue or activism?

A deliberative study into the impact of integration on mental health social work in England:... PurposeThe purpose of this paper is twofold. First, to examine the impact on mental health social work of integrated care; and second, to explore the effectiveness of the use of deliberative research, a methodology which is new to mental health social work research.Design/methodology/approachDeveloped to enable examination of policy, deliberative research is underpinned by a desire to permit choice and change brought about through an iterative dialogue. This communication is based on informed and respectful equality between policy makers or implementers and those subject to that implementation. In order to achieve this equality, participation in debate by participants is viewed as essential, including as part of the process, participants becoming better informed about the phenomenon in question.FindingsThe findings show that effective mental health social work underpins successful integrated care which, in turn, is viewed as relevant. In addition, people who access services identified that mental health social workers are well positioned as facilitators and explainers in integrated care. The issue to be further explored by research, therefore, is not whether services should be delivered separately or in an integrated way, but how to keep improving and developing integrated care and especially the impact of ongoing power differentials.Research limitations/implicationsThe use of deliberative research worked reasonably well as an underpinning methodology for this study in that it sought to achieve the opinions of the public, in this instance consumers who provided or accessed mental health social work. The ethical need to ensure no harm came to this particular group meant that their opinions were not debated with the whole. This limitation to iterative dialogue is undoubtedly a consideration when undertaking deliberative research on such populations. This study offered just this, a one-off event, as in reality the commitment from participants to attend more than this one session would have been prohibitive.Practical implicationsThe test, practically, comes with the events for data collection. This is not just the debate as to whether these, as one-off events, bring about agreement and not deliberation, but also whether researchers can, with a group that has particular needs, effectively integrate them into the deliberation. Given that it is an ethical priority to ensure that the participants are not harmed, this is not always going to be possible where the “public” includes those who may be vulnerable.Originality/valueDeliberative research methodology is a new approach in mental health social work research. The influential finding is activism: people who access services recognise and suggest a challenge to the normative power differential in integrated care, as embodied in mental health social workers, and it is this aspect that warrants further investigation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Mental Health Training Education and Practice Emerald Publishing

A deliberative study into the impact of integration on mental health social work in England: merely a dialogue or activism?

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References (16)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1755-6228
DOI
10.1108/JMHTEP-08-2016-0039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is twofold. First, to examine the impact on mental health social work of integrated care; and second, to explore the effectiveness of the use of deliberative research, a methodology which is new to mental health social work research.Design/methodology/approachDeveloped to enable examination of policy, deliberative research is underpinned by a desire to permit choice and change brought about through an iterative dialogue. This communication is based on informed and respectful equality between policy makers or implementers and those subject to that implementation. In order to achieve this equality, participation in debate by participants is viewed as essential, including as part of the process, participants becoming better informed about the phenomenon in question.FindingsThe findings show that effective mental health social work underpins successful integrated care which, in turn, is viewed as relevant. In addition, people who access services identified that mental health social workers are well positioned as facilitators and explainers in integrated care. The issue to be further explored by research, therefore, is not whether services should be delivered separately or in an integrated way, but how to keep improving and developing integrated care and especially the impact of ongoing power differentials.Research limitations/implicationsThe use of deliberative research worked reasonably well as an underpinning methodology for this study in that it sought to achieve the opinions of the public, in this instance consumers who provided or accessed mental health social work. The ethical need to ensure no harm came to this particular group meant that their opinions were not debated with the whole. This limitation to iterative dialogue is undoubtedly a consideration when undertaking deliberative research on such populations. This study offered just this, a one-off event, as in reality the commitment from participants to attend more than this one session would have been prohibitive.Practical implicationsThe test, practically, comes with the events for data collection. This is not just the debate as to whether these, as one-off events, bring about agreement and not deliberation, but also whether researchers can, with a group that has particular needs, effectively integrate them into the deliberation. Given that it is an ethical priority to ensure that the participants are not harmed, this is not always going to be possible where the “public” includes those who may be vulnerable.Originality/valueDeliberative research methodology is a new approach in mental health social work research. The influential finding is activism: people who access services recognise and suggest a challenge to the normative power differential in integrated care, as embodied in mental health social workers, and it is this aspect that warrants further investigation.

Journal

The Journal of Mental Health Training Education and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 12, 2018

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