Co-producing Healthcare Interventions: Transforming Transdisciplinary Research to Develop Healthcare Services to Meet the Needs of Patients with Complex Problems
Patients with severe mental illness (SMI) and concurrent physical diseases have complex health problems that are often not handled optimally. The treatment and care take place across sector borders and this cross-sectorial cooperation often proves inadequate and deficient in the handling of patients with SMI and multimorbidity. In an on-going study of patients with severe mental illness (SMI) and concurrent physical diseases, a new attempt is being made at using co-production to develop useful and applicable integrated care models. The aim of this study (The Phy-Psy Trial/PPT) is to develop a care model that bridges the gaps between the health care sectors, while at the same time taking into account the perspectives of both the patients and their relatives. The co-production process developed for the PPT is described and discussed in this chapter.
The co-production approach for the PPT takes place on two levels. One is the interdisciplinary research level, where researchers from the different disciplines involved are brought together to develop and exchange knowledge and research results in order to develop an integrated care model to improve the care of people with SMI. The other is the practice level, where groups of actors—patients, professionals, and policy makers—meet to share their viewpoints and knowledge. There have been challenges on both levels. The involved research groups have turned out to work at different paces, meaning that they have to interact much more than anticipated in order to exchange the knowledge and input needed for their work. Also, their different methods and ways of doing research have resulted in complications that have had to be resolved. This has been part of the on-going process, and solutions are continuously being found to the difficulties posed by this large-scale, interdisciplinary collaboration. On the practice level, the participating groups of actors have contributed with valuable information about their experiences in and with the health care system. This knowledge informs the gaps and pitfalls across the sectors of the health care system, which has to be met to be able to target and adjust the new care model, thus making it implementable. This chapter is no recipe for co-production. Rather, it is pointing to possibilities as well as highlighting various challenges that co-producers of interventions for patients with physical and somatic multimorbidity may encounter.
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