Study protocol: cross-national comparative case study of recovery-focused mental health care planning and coordination (COCAPP)

Simpson, Alan; Hannigan, Ben; Coffey, Michael; Jones, Aled; Barlow, Sally; Cohen, Rachel; Všetečková, Jitka; Faulkner, Alison and Haddad, Mark (2016). Study protocol: cross-national comparative case study of recovery-focused mental health care planning and coordination (COCAPP). BMC Psychiatry, 15, article no. 145.



Background: The collaborative care planning study (COCAPP) is a cross-national comparative study of care planning and coordination in community mental healthcare settings. The context and delivery of mental health care is diverging between the countries of England and Wales whilst retaining points of common interest, hence providing a rich geographical comparison for research. Across England the key vehicle for the provision of recovery-focused, personalised, collaborative mental health care is the care programme approach (CPA). The CPA is a form of case management introduced in England in 1991, then revised in 2008. In Wales the CPA was introduced in 2003 but has now been superseded by The Mental Health (Care Co-ordination and Care and Treatment Planning) (CTP) Regulations (Mental Health Measure), a new statutory framework. In both countries, the CPA/CTP requires providers to: comprehensively assess health/social care needs and risks; develop a written care plan (which may incorporate risk assessments, crisis and contingency plans, advanced directives, relapse prevention plans, etc.) in collaboration with the service user and carer(s); allocate a care coordinator; and regularly review care. The overarching aim of this study is to identify and describe the factors that ensure CPA/CTP care planning and coordination is personalised, recovery-focused and conducted collaboratively.

Methods/design: COCAPP will employ a concurrent transformative mixed methods approach with embedded case studies. Phase 1 (Macro-level) will consider the national context through a meta-narrative mapping (MNM) review of national policies and the relevant research literature. Phase 2 (Meso-level and Micro-level) will include in-depth micro-level case studies of everyday ‘frontline’ practice and experience with detailed qualitative data from interviews and reviews of individual care plans. This will be nested within larger meso-level survey datasets, senior-level interviews and policy reviews in order to provide potential explanations and understanding.

Discussion: COCAPP will help identify the key components that support and hinder the provision of personalised, recovery-focused care planning and provide an informed rationale for a future planned intervention and evaluation.

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