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Table 1 Continuum of technical knowledge and expert-by-experience knowledge

From: Combining technical and expert-by-experience knowledge in the quest for personal recovery from bipolar disorder: a qualitative study

 Technical knowledgeExpert-by-experience knowledge
Features• Scientific
• Systematic and well-documented
• Common languages shared across multiple professionals
• Findings are not always relevant to service users’ lived experience
• It greatly depends on practitioners’ ability to understand a perspective other than their own and to respond empathetically
• Acquired through experience: “been there, done that”
• High ecological validity, very practical
• It does not always generalize to other people’s circumstances
• It depends on the service setting, training, and skills of PSWs, such as interpersonal skills, adjustment to the new PSWs role
Challenges• Combining technical and expert-by-experience knowledge in the search for personal recovery is not always a straight-forward process. The two forms of knowledge sometimes work in a complementary manner, but at other times they work in a more tensioned, question-raising way that can broaden our understanding of how knowledge is interpreted by multiple parties (e.g., mental health practitioners, clients or family members)
• There is a pressing need to move from a situation in which health knowledge construction is hierarchical to one in which it occurs by consensus, horizontally. Such a shift would allow healthcare professionals and clients to contribute to the co-construction of knowledge that forms the basis for decision-making in the recovery journey.