Aims and Objectives

We shall conduct a systematic review of the research evidence on interventions to improve ‘therapeutic communication’ between black, minority and ethnic (BME) patients receiving specialist psychiatric care and the professionals who deliver that care.

Our specific objectives are,

  1. To review the published evidence as well as unpublished ‘grey’ literature and unreported research in order to identify promising interventions to improve ‘therapeutic communication’ for BME patients receiving specialist psychiatric care. Our initial analysis has identified that interventions of interest can broadly be defined as those which:
    • aim to improve outcomes from existing care through mediation, better understanding and take up (for example, by psycho-education that enhances communication);
    • seek to manage divergent views, conflict, and differing explanatory models and illness perceptions through negotiation and mediation;
    • employ cultural consultation models and other narrative based or ethnographic methodologies;
    • involve methods proposed within the social sciences or communications studies, for example, linguistics, but applied to health and social care;
    • apply cultural competence interventions that aim to improve communication;
    • improve two-way communication as a therapeutic tool through technology (e.g. NHS direct, telemedicine, email).
  2. To report evidence on effectiveness, quality and cost-effectiveness using measures of patient reported outcomes, symptoms, (dis)engagement with care, cost, safety, rates of adverse incidents (including the use of compulsion such as sectioning or physical restraint), and/or use of other interventions (including medication).
  3. To identify and describe the elements of identified interventions.
  4. To produce recommendations for practitioners and policy makers for different service contexts, patient groups, and illnesses.
  5. To identify key evidence gaps and highlight future primary research required to address these.

Service Users and Public Involvement

Afiya Trust is a national public charity campaigning for better health among racialised groups; it works in health and social care settings, policy and health promotion; it is a strategic partner of DH that helps building capacity in the charitable sector for inequalities work. This will provide community channels for dissemination as well as the conventional ones through conferences and academic routes, publications in the academic press and in the lay and voluntary sector press. A report launch will be held under the auspices of Afiya Trust in partnership with Warwick, Queen Mary University of London, and De Montfort University. Patient public partnership is important in the interpretation of the findings, especially if novel interventions are discovered (regarding their acceptability) and for wider dissemination of the findings.

AFIYA and Service Users will,

  • Attend project management and scientific steering group meetings
  • Comment on methodological challenges and solutions
  • Comment on findings as they emerge
  • Read and comment on short briefing and presentations during the project and on 2 interactive days where we will interpret the overall findings at the end of the project
  • Provide a complementary report with new research areas or proposals for the future
  • Take part in a call for evidence; this may be an especially useful way of identifying grey literature and expertise in the voluntary and charity sectors
  • Provide wider dissemination