Experiences of service user involvement and their influence on identity

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Emery, Leigh M.
  • Subject: BF697 | HV1551 | RA790

Identity can be considered to be socially constructed and developed through narratives about ourselves and our experiences. Having socially valued roles may thus facilitate a positive identity. This study aimed to explore how the experiences of service user involvement (SUI) in health and social care services (specifically, being involved in staff recruitment) influenced the narrative identities of people with learning disabilities. Interviews were conducted with seven people with learning disabilities who had been service user representatives on NHS interview panels. These were analysed using thematic narrative analysis as a framework. All described positive narrative identities, but the degree to which SUI featured in the construction of narrative identities varied. Whilst some found the experience transformative, for others it was not an important part of their narratives. The findings suggest that such experiences formed just one of many narratives that participants drew from to construct their narrative identity.
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