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Studying recovering on a rehabilitation ward

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    An ethnographic study of treatment and recovery on an inpatient mental health rehabilitation ward



  • Contact name

    Helen Killaspy

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 11 months, 30 days

  • Research summary

    One in five people who are diagnosed with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, develop long-term difficulties. These difficulties might include problems with looking after themselves or engaging with others. Such problems usually arise because the person has persistent symptoms of mental illness (e.g., hearing voices) despite treatment, often alongside issues such as substance use or poor physical health. We refer to these most severe forms of mental illness as ‘complex psychosis’.

    Clinical guidelines recommend that people with complex psychosis receive treatment from mental health rehabilitation services. These services are designed to support ‘recovery’. Recovery refers to the idea that people with mental illness should be able to decide how they want to live their own lives, what their hopes for the future are, and what support they need.

    Recovery-based rehabilitation services are effective at enabling people to live more independently. But we know very little about what people with complex psychosis think of rehabilitation services, how they understand and experience recovery, and what they find helpful or unhelpful. Given that many NHS trusts are currently lacking rehabilitation services, it is important that we understand how people with complex psychosis actually experience recovery in these services.

    This study aims to investigate in detail how people with complex psychosis receiving care from inpatient rehabilitation services in north London understand and experience recovery; and how the rehabilitation services support their recoveries. To understand these things, the Principal Investigator will immerse himself in the daily routines of service users and staff on an inpatient rehabilitation ward over 6 months. He will spend his time ‘hanging out’ in communal areas, talking to service users and staff, taking detailed notes, conducting interviews, and using art to stimulate discussion, to build up a detailed picture of recovery and treatment on the ward.

  • REC name

    West Midlands - Coventry & Warwickshire Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    12 Aug 2022

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion

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