Service users' perceptions of shared agency in mental health services

M. Romakkaniemi, A. Järvikoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: The concept of shared agency is used in examining the collaboration between the service user and the professionals. The study aims to find out what kind of experiences on shared agency mental health service users have.Method: The study was based on interviews of 19 service users. The data set was formed of those parts of the interviews that dealt with shared aims, being heard, collaboration and joint planning and decision-making. Typical methods of inductive content analysis were applied.Results: Three domains of shared agency were found: emotional, communicative and supportive ones. The emotional domain included elements of becoming heard and building confidence. In the communicative one, the main features were mutual information sharing, finding words to describe the chaos and reconstructing harmony. The supportive domain included encouragement and giving support. Experiences on non-shared agency were also found.Conclusion: Many experiences on shared agency were found. Joint planning and working with life goals were, however, seldom reported. This result, together with experiences of non-shared agency, sets a challenge for mental health services. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-394
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Field of science

  • Social work


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