A systematic review of the models of co-production used in mental health research with working age adults & A Recovery College Course on Mental Health Stigma
: a feasibility study

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Background: There has been an increase in promoting service user involvement in mental health research. Co-production, a collaborative model of research that includes stakeholders in the research process, has been widely advocated as a means of facilitating research use and impact. Despite the multiplicity of reasons and incentives to use co-production methods, there is little consensus about what co-production is, why we do it, how to do it, or the best co-production techniques to achieve practice or population health change.

Method: A systematic literature review was carried out on studies that used co-production methods in adult mental health research as classified by the ICD-10 as neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders (F40-F48), mood [affective] disorders (F30-F39), schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders (F20-F29) and disorders of adult personality and behaviour (F60-F69). Five electronic databases (Psych INFO, MEDLINE, Social Science Citation Index, CINAHL and Open Grey) were searched in October 2020 and a narrative synthesis was conducted. Forty-six studies met inclusion criteria.

Results: A total of 46 eligible studies published between 2012 and 2020 were identified; of these, 78% (n=36) used qualitative methods, 15.2% (n=7) were mixed-methods and the remaining 6.5% (n=3) used quantitative methods. The reporting of co-production methods varied widely. Notably, 26.1% (n=12) did not reference a model or provide a definition of co-production. The most frequently cited approaches were NIHR INVOLVE principles (Hickey et al., 2018a); survivor-led and emancipatory research approaches (Faulkner, 2004; Rose, 2017; Stone & Priestley, 1996); participatory-action and participatory evaluation methods (Cartland, 2012; Gillard, Simons, Turner, Lucock, & Edwards, 2012); and Boyle and Harris co-production definition (Boyle & Harris, 2009).

Conclusion: Across the studies, a range of definitions and co-productions approaches were utilised. Further consideration for the notion of quality within co-production research is necessary. Future research could develop criteria for reporting co-production in research to improve consistency and reporting standards.
Date of Award1 Mar 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorKatharine Rimes (Supervisor) & Claire Henderson (Supervisor)

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