Co-producing research on psychosis: a scoping review on barriers, facilitators and outcomes

30 Aug 2023
Cecilia E. Jakobsson, Elisa Genovesi, Adeola Afolayan, Tolulope Bella-Awusah, Olubukola Omobowale, Musa Buyanga, Ritsuko Kakuma, & Grace Katherine Ryan

INTRODUCTION: Co-production is a collaborative approach to service user involvement in which users and researchers share power and responsibility in the research process. Although previous reviews have investigated co-production in mental health research, these do not typically focus on psychosis or severe mental health conditions. Meanwhile, people with psychosis may be under-represented in co-production efforts. This scoping review aims to explore the peer-reviewed literature to better understand the processes and terminology employed, as well as the barriers, facilitators, and outcomes of co-production in psychosis research. METHODS: Three databases were searched (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO) using terms and headings related to psychosis and co-production. All titles, abstracts and full texts were independently double-screened. Disagreements were resolved by consensus. Original research articles reporting on processes and methods of co-production involving adults with psychosis as well as barriers, facilitators, and/or outcomes of co-production were included. Data was extracted using a standardised template and synthesised narratively. Joanna Briggs Institute and the AGREE Reporting Checklist were used for quality assessment. RESULTS: The search returned 1243 references. Fifteen studies were included: five qualitative, two cross-sectional, and eight descriptive studies. Most studies took place in the UK, and all reported user involvement in the research process; however, the amount and methods of involvement varied greatly. Although all studies were required to satisfy INVOLVE (2018) principles of co-production to be included, seven were missing several of the key features of co-production and often used different terms to describe their collaborative approaches. Commonly reported outcomes included improvements in mutual engagement as well as depth of understanding and exploration. Key barriers were power differentials between researchers and service users and stigma. Key facilitators were stakeholder buy-in and effective communication. CONCLUSIONS: The methodology, terminology and quality of the studies varied considerably; meanwhile, over-representation of UK studies suggests there may be even more heterogeneity in the global literature not captured by our review. This study makes recommendations for encouraging co-production and improving the reporting of co-produced research, while also identifying several limitations that could be improved upon for a more comprehensive review of the literature.