Protocol: A grounded theory of ‘recovery’—perspectives of adolescent users of mental health services
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Introduction: Policies internationally endorse the recovery paradigm as the appropriate foundation for youth mental health services. However, given that this paradigm is grounded in the views of adults with severe mental illness, applicability to youth services and relevance to young people is uncertain, particularly as little is known about young people’s views. A comprehensive understanding of the experiences and expectations of young people is critical to developing youth mental health services that are acceptable, accessible, effective and relevant. Aim: To inform development of policy and youth services, the study described in this protocol aims to develop a comprehensive account of the experiences and expectations of 12–17 year olds as they encounter mental disorders and transition through specialist mental health services. Data will be analysed to model recovery from the adolescents’ perspective. Method and analysis: This grounded theory study will use quantitative and qualitative data collected in interviews with 12–17 year olds engaged with specialist Child/Youth Mental Health Service in Queensland, Australia. Interviews will explore adolescents’ expectations and experiences of mental disorder, and of services, as they transition through specialist mental health services, including the meaning of their experiences and ideas of ‘recovery’ and how their experiences and expectations are shaped. Data collection and analysis will use grounded theory methods. Ethics and dissemination: Adolescents’ experiences will be presented as a mid-range theory. The research will provide tangible recommendations for youth-focused mental health policy and practice. Findings will be disseminated within academic literature and beyond to participants, health professionals, mental health advocacy groups and policy and decision makers via publications, research summaries, conferences and workshops targeting different audiences. Ethical and research governance approvals have been obtained from relevant Human Research Ethics committees and all sites involved.
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