A scoping review of the literature on the involvement of service users in personality disorder services

L. Montgomery, M. Donnelly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Service user involvement is receiving increasing support from mental health policy makers, service planners and research commissioners. However,we lack a good understanding of the nature and extent to which service users are involved in personality disorder (PD) services and the effects of involvement in these services. Objectives. To review and appraise published sources; increase understanding about service user involvement in PD services; and highlight knowledge gaps and related issues. Methods. A scoping review methodology was adopted. Data were ‘charted’ to illustrate the landscape of writings and views and a qualitative analysis synthesized the results in terms of key emergent themes. Results. Only a small amount of published work was identified with significant gaps in the literature. Effects were reported mostly in terms processes and emotional and practical benefits for service users. Emergent themes were wellness and health, recruitment and support for service users. Conclusions. This scoping review uncovered a lack of published work despite service user involvement being a key strand of health policy. There is a need for outcomes-focused research regarding service user involvement. Successful user involvement in PD services requires attention to be focused on the context, recruitment, support and ‘wellness’ of service users. Received 3 May 2013; Revised 11 January 2014; Accepted 3 May 2014; First published online 30 September 2014.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalIrish Journal of Psychological Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2014


  • Personality disorder
  • Service delivery
  • User involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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