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Pilot implementation of co-designed software for co-production in mental health care planning: a qualitative evaluation of staff perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-504
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number5
Early online date26 Jun 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Apr 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jun 2019
DatePublished (current) - 3 Sep 2019


Mental health policies advocate service user participation in care planning. However, service users often feel they’re not fully involved and direct access to users’ own electronic care plans in the community can be an obstacle. To address this, an electronic care pathway tool (CPT) was co-designed by service users, staff and software developers, to facilitate co-production of care and crisis plans.

To investigate the feasibility and acceptability of the pilot implementation of the CPT in professionals’ practice to co-produce care plans and enable efficient working.

Qualitative interviews with fifteen mental health practitioners, and five service development/ management staff. Normalisation process theory, which outlines the social processes involved in implementing technology, and co-production theory, informed interviews and data analysis.

Multiple factors influenced CPT usage, including people’s views of technology, practitioners’ relationships with service users, service users’ mental health needs, and their capacity for reflective thinking. The CPT’s visual and interactive features could enable co-production of care plans. The CPT supported practitioners’ efficiency, but its features did not easily streamline with electronic patient records.

CPT interactive touchpoints supported service users’ therapeutic reflection and facilitated care planning involvement. Information technology system interoperability was an obstacle.

    Research areas

  • care planning, care programme approach, co-design, Co-production, crisis planning, electronic patient records, information technology, mental health services, normalisation process theory

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