Service user-led research in the NHS: wasting our time?

Patsy Staddon

in Critical Perspectives on User Involvement

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427519
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305590 | DOI:
Service user-led research in the NHS: wasting our time?

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This chapter examines a service-user-led research project focused on women's alcohol use and treatment provision. It involved visiting many alcohol treatment establishments, recruiting an advisory group of other women who, like the author of this chapter, had had experience of alcohol issues in the past, and running two research projects. One focused on women who had or had had alcohol issues, and the other on GPs and treatment providers, about how they understood women's alcohol use and its treatment. The chapter describes many positive results that emerged from these research projects, such as ongoing links with statutory and voluntary sector alcohol treatment agencies, ongoing service-user-controlled workshops, meetings and events, and a helpline. In addition, the research itself indicated some reasons for difficulties in ‘getting doctors and the NHS to listen’ to women's alcohol issues, before suggesting ways that such difficulties may be overcome. Some alternative solutions to what has traditionally been seen as a ‘medical’ and/or a ‘moral’ problem are suggested, based on the findings of the two research projects.

Keywords: women's alcohol use; women's alcohol treatment; user-led research; gendered analysis

Chapter.  3520 words. 

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