Approved mental health professionals researching their own profession, the benefits, pitfalls and limitations
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This paper considers a research study into the widening of the AMHP role to other professionals and the challenge for the researchers own reflexivity. It will focus on the strengths and limitations of practitioner research including the difficulties in recruiting participants from this, now, diverse AMHP workforce which meant that the researcher had to negotiate interviewing professional groups other than their own and to manage the tensions that arose because of this. The research was based on interviews and a vignette as a way of gathering data on decision making, drawing on a methodology first undertaken by Peay. Participants in the research study were aware that the researcher was a practicing AMHP as this knowledge was needed in order to encourage recruitment. It also promoted the importance of practitioner led research. The method of the research study rested on the participants reaching a decision about a provided vignette and what they would do next as the AMHP. It might have been anticipated that differences between professional groups practise would have been found. This was not evidenced by this study and this finding will be discussed. The author will also reflect upon his experience as a practitioner researcher.
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