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Service user involvement in training: the trainees' view

  • Ajay Vijayakrishnan (a1), Joan Rutherford (a2), Steve Miller (a3) and Lynne M. Drummond (a4)
Abstract
Aims and Method

A questionnaire survey was conducted of trainees across the South-West London and St George's Basic Specialist Training Scheme in Psychiatry to explore their attitudes towards service user involvement in training.

Results

Fifty-two completed questionnaires were received; 20 trainees (38%) had not attended teaching sessions where a user was present; 35 trainees (67%) were agreeable to service user involvement in examinations. Reservations concerned the objectivity of service users in examination rating and their role as an expert on assessing the trainee's skill. Awareness of user involvement strategies and policies in their trusts were not matched with actual participation.

Clinical Implications

Service users should be involved in teaching in an expert capacity and also in examinations, with safeguards regarding transparency and objectivity of the marking schemes in place.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Service user involvement in training: the trainees' view

  • Ajay Vijayakrishnan (a1), Joan Rutherford (a2), Steve Miller (a3) and Lynne M. Drummond (a4)
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eLetters

Is there a need to evaluate users� views as trainers?

MAHADEVAPRASAD JASTI, SpR in Forensic CAMHS
31 August 2006

We read this article on the trainee’s view regarding service user involvement in training with great interest.

In the past, there had been anxiety amongst trainees regarding subjective methods of evaluation in the MRCPsych examinations. Currently, the College has implemented objective and standardised methods of evaluation in these examinations. The involvement of service users in thisprocess may have an effect on this and should be carefully planned.

As highlighted in the article, though two-thirds of the trainees wereagreeable to service user involvement in examinations, they expressed reservations over their objectivity and expertise. In order to address this, training of service user needs to be focussed on enhancing their skill in assessing trainees objectively, in certain components of the examination that may best reflect their expertise.

Being an examiner is both demanding and taxing. As psychiatrists, we are aware of stress as a major trigger of relapse. In light of this, we need to balance service user needs and demands of being an examiner carefully. Processes should be established to prevent and intervene in order to minimise any harm to the service user.

Another way of involving service users in training is to participate in the multi-source 360-degree feedback assessment. This can largely assist in identifying trainees’ needs from a user's perspective.

Thanks to this article and many similar related articles, most trainees are aware of advantages and disadvantages of service user involvement in training. However, there is little systematic evaluation ofusers’ and carers’ perceptions as trainers and the difficulties they mightencounter, which needs acknowledging and addressing.

REFERENCES:Livingston,G., Cooper,C.(2004)User and Carer involvement in Mental Health Training. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment,10,85-92.Tait,L.,Lester,H.(2005)Encouraging user involvement in Mental Health Services.Advances in Psychiatric Treatment,11,168-175.Department of Health(1999)National Service Framework- Standard 6.
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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