To assess the extent of user involvement in care planning, from the users' perspective. Fifty Care Programme Approach (CPA) meetings across five consultant teams were included using quota sampling. Data concerning user involvement was collected by direct observation, semi-structured interviews with users and keyworkers and a review of CPA documentation.
User involvement in needs assessment and decision-making was poor, as was knowledge of care planning and information provision to users.
Limited resources and conflict resulting from the more containing aspects of the CPA remain obstacles for user involvement. Possible improvements include user led needs assessment, information pack provision and limiting attendance at CPA meetings.
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