Mental health consumer participation in education: a structured literature review Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Consumer participation in design, delivery and evaluation of occupational therapy educational programs is a recently introduced requirement for accreditation. It aligns with the principle of recovery, which underpins Australian mental health policy. Graduates' capabilities for recovery-oriented practice are thought to be enhanced through learning from consumers' lived experience. This structured literature review evaluates the current evidence for mental health consumer participation in health professional education to inform occupational therapy educators.Searches were completed in five online databases, one journal and published reading lists on the topic. Studies were included if they addressed mental health consumer participation in health professional education programs, were published in peer reviewed journals between 2000 and 2014 and were in English. Articles were critically reviewed, and analysed for key findings related to stages of the educational process and recovery-oriented practice capabilities.An emerging body of evidence for consumer participation in mental health education was identified. Studies are characterised by a lack of quality and a low to medium level of evidence. Findings relate to design, planning, delivery and evaluation of education as well as to most aspects of recovery-oriented practice. Emphases on exploratory research and proximal outcomes, and a reliance on published outcome measurement instruments designed for other purposes are key limitations in this body of evidence.This study identifies a weak evidence base for the requirement for consumer participation in occupational therapy programs, specifically related to mental health curricula. A research agenda is proposed in response.

publication date

  • 2015