User involvement in adolescents’ mental healthcare: a systematic review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionViksveen, P., Bjønnes, S.E., Cardenas, N.E. et al. (2021) User involvement in adolescents’ mental healthcare: a systematic review. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 10.1007/s00787-021-01818-2
More than one out of ten adolescents suffer from mental illness at any given time. Still, there is limited knowledge about their involvement in mental healthcare. Adolescents have the right to be involved in decisions affecting their healthcare, but limited research focuses on their engagement and decision-making. Therefore, this systematic review aims to explore the existing experiences with, the effectiveness of, and safety issues associated with user involvement for adolescents’ mental healthcare at the individual and organizational level. A systematic literature review on user involvement in adolescents’ mental healthcare was carried out. A protocol pre-determined the eligibility criteria and search strategies, and established guidelines were used for data extraction, critical appraisal, and reporting of results. Quantitative studies were analysed individually due to heterogeneity of the studies, while qualitative studies were analysed using thematic synthesis. A total of 31 studies were included in the review. The experiences with user involvement were reported in 24 studies with three themes at the individual level: unilateral clinician control versus collaborative relationship, capacity and support for active involvement, the right to be involved; and two themes at the organizational level: involvement outcomes relevant to adolescents’ needs, conditions for optimal involvement. The effectiveness of user involvement was reported in seven studies documenting fragmented evidence related to different support structures to facilitate adolescents’ involvement. The safety associated with user involvement was not reported in any studies, yet a few examples related to potential risks associated with involvement of adolescents in decision-making and as consultants were mentioned.