Background: Research has highlighted that poor preparation and/or lack of appropriate skills may be a barrier to effective and credible implementation of User Involvement (UI) in mental health services. Aims: To describe the development and evaluation of a unique training package delivered to members of a service user reference group to enable them to contribute to staff training aimed at improving attitudes towards borderline personality disorder. Method: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with six participants who had received the training package. Results: An analysis of participants’ comments revealed six key themes: personal and professional gains, importance of team work, satisfaction with teaching, lack of organisation, difficulties with communication and recruitment issues. All participants rated the training package very highly, but inappropriate recruitment of user representatives and a lack of funding and subsequent consistent practical support were cited as barriers to effective UI. Conclusions: Careful selection and training of user representatives is vital to maximise the efficacy of UI, and ensure that it is a positive experience for user representatives. Further robust comparative research is required to demonstrate the usefulness of UI, and inform evidence-based practice.
How to Cite
Balls, M., (2010) “Innovations in User Involvement: The Development and Evaluation of a Preparatory Training Package for Service User Representatives”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 7(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/mhldrp.2010.7177