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Table 7 Benefits and disadvantages of service user involvement reported by service users and staff

From: Service user involvement: impact and participation: a survey of service user and staff perspectives

Benefits of Service User Involvement
Service Users N Professionals  
Having a say, Included in decision making 35 Service users having a say, Empowerment 26
Improvement in services 25 Therapeutic benefit, Self esteem, recovery 16
Feeling listened to, chance to give opinion 20 Improvements in services 15
Therapeutic benefit, Self esteem, recovery 13 Service user feel listened to and valued 8
Opportunities for social interaction 11 Service users a source of knowledge 7
Access to information about services 9 Access to information about treatment 3
Getting involved in groups/activities 7 Service users’ professional development 3
Improving relationship with clinicians 7 Positive use of time, 3
Opportunity to develop skills 5 Other 4
Other 4   
Disadvantages of Service User Involvement
Tokenism, No resulting change 11 Service users too negative/too critical 12
Users unable to participate due to health 8 Involvement detrimental to mental health 9
User input not seen as important 6 Involved service users not representative 8
Involvement detrimental to mental health 5 User input not seen as important 6
Other 3 Tokenism, No resulting change 6
   Unrealistic demands made by service users 4
   Other 2