The Health and Well-being of Service User and Carer Educators: A Narrative Enquiry into the Impact of Involvement in Healthcare Education

Christine Rhodes, Joan Hardy, Kath Padgett, Jools Symons, Joannie Tate, Susan Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Service user and carer involvement is increasing in health and social care education as a result of UK policy directives and Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body requirements. The study aimed to elicit the accounts of service user and carer educators' experiences in practice-based healthcare education in the UK. The overall aim was to illustrate the impact this has had on their health and well-being. A narrative inquiry approach was adopted in order to give a clearer and stronger voice to service users and carers by making their experience the primary focus of enquiry. Narratives were collected from five service users and carers who had extensive experience of involvement in healthcare education. The individual narrative material obtained was distilled into key points following a naturalistic perspective, ensuring that the findings and final story were a re-presentation of the narrator's experience.
Participating in the research enabled the service users and carers to articulate specifically how involvement had positively affected their health and well-being. An additional outcome
included the personal artefacts that can be utilised in teaching and learning in order to bring the service user and carer voice to life. This study contributes to the emerging knowledge and understanding that service user and carer involvement in health education can be a truly collaborative, enriching experience, producing profound personal change, with improvements in health and well-being. Effective involvement is dependent upon appropriate support networks whereby service users and carers develop connections with staff and other service users and carers that result in a sense of belonging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-68
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


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