Lived experience narratives in health professional education: Educators’ perspectives of a co-designed, online mental health education resource

Tracey Parnell, Kate Fiske, Kellie Stastny, Sarah Sewell, Melissa Nott

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Abstract

Introduction
Meaningful involvement of people with lived experience is an invaluable approach to education that facilitates the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes for collaborative, compassionate and person-centred healthcare practice. The purpose of this evaluation was to gain health professional educators’ perspectives of an online learning resource that presents the lived experiences of people who have been consumers of the Australian mental health system.

Methods
A cross sectional study design was used to survey educators who had registered to use the online education resource. Data were collected using an online survey and follow-up interviews. Two lived experience researchers were involved in the research. Quantitative survey data were analysed descriptively, and qualitative data were analysed thematically.

Findings
The Listening to Voices online education resource is being used in a range of settings. Educators perceived the content facilitated achievement of learning outcomes related to understanding the experiences of people with mental health issues. The free, online, and flexible design of the resource promoted access and helped overcome barriers to including lived experience experts in education. The powerful impact of the resource and importance of creating safe learning environments when using the resource were highlighted. Suggestions for future developments were provided.

Conclusion
Involving people with lived experience in education of healthcare students and professionals can assist in developing skills for collaborative, compassionate, and person-centred care. Implementation of co-design principles and the use of creative pedagogical approaches can contribute to the development of impactful educational resources that foreground lived experience. Making these resources flexible and freely available online improves their utility.
Original languageEnglish
Article number946
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2023

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