Reflections on running online expert advisory groups with young people with lived experience of depression

Juliette Westbrook, Sophie M. Allan, Brioney Gee, Faith Orchard

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Service user involvement is fundamental to healthcare research, including knowledge transfer, advising on study protocols and the development of interventions. However, to date, service user involvement within child and adolescent mental health research is still uncommon and there is limited focus on best practice within the literature. Furthermore, consultations and advisory groups have traditionally been held face-to-face; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift towards online research involvement as an alternative. This paper will examine our experience of conducting online expert advisory groups with young people (aged 14-24) with lived experience of depression and describe challenges and adaptations that need to be considered in order to make the events safe and accessible. Based on our own reflections of the process and feedback from young people taking part, we highlight the grouping of young people, facilitating pre-session nerves, intergroup communication and accessibility of online engagement. Young peoples’ reflections on the value of the advisory groups are also discussed. We conclude by offering suggestions, based on our reflections, for future online research consultations.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021

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