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Mental health service users' experiences of mental health care: an integrative literature review.

Newman, D.; O'Reilly, P.; Lee, S.H.; Kennedy, C.


D. Newman

P. O'Reilly


The aim of this integrative literature review was to identify mental health service users' experiences of services. The rationale for this review was based on the growing emphasis and requirements for health services to deliver care and support, which recognizes the preferences of individuals. Contemporary models of mental health care strive to promote inclusion and empowerment. This review seeks to add to our current understanding of how service users experience care and support in order to determine to what extent the principles of contemporary models of mental health care are embedded in practice. A robust search of Web of Science, the Cochrane Database, Science Direct, EBSCO host (Academic Search Complete, MEDLINE, CINAHL Plus Full-Text), PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Social Sciences Full Text and the United Kingdom and Ireland Reference Centre for data published between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2012 was completed. The initial search retrieved 272609 papers. The authors used a staged approach and the application of predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria, thus the numbers of papers for inclusion were reduced to 34. Data extraction, quality assessment and thematic analysis were completed for the included studies. Satisfaction with the mental health service was moderately good. However, accessing services could be difficult because of a lack of knowledge and the stigma surrounding mental health. Large surveys document moderate satisfaction ratings; however, feelings of fear regarding how services function and the lack of treatment choice remain. The main finding from this review is while people may express satisfaction with mental health services, there are still issues around three main themes: acknowledging a mental health problem and seeking help; building relationship through participation and care; and working towards continuity of care. Elements of the recovery model appear to be lacking in relation to user involvement, empowerment and decision making. There is a need for a fundamental shift in the context of the provider-service user relationship to fully facilitate service users' engagement in their care.


NEWMAN, D., O'REILLY, P., LEE, S.H. and KENNEDY, C. 2015. Mental health service users' experiences of mental health care: an integrative literature review. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing [online], 22(3), pages 171-182. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 7, 2015
Online Publication Date Feb 24, 2015
Publication Date Apr 30, 2015
Deposit Date Nov 10, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 10, 2016
Journal Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing
Print ISSN 1351-0126
Electronic ISSN 1365-2850
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 3
Pages 171-182
Keywords Communication; Experience; Mental health; Mental health service user and relationships; Service providers
Public URL