A Qualitative Analysis of Experiences of Detention within Mental Health Services

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Clinical Psychology

  • Authors:
  • Tara Seed


This thesis set out to explore the experiences of being detained and admitted to an inpatient unit. It is comprised of three papers. Paper one and paper two have been prepared according to the guidelines of the journal they will be submitted to. Paper one is a systematic review of the qualitative literature which has explored participants' experiences of involuntary detention. This paper provides an update to a review previously carried out and attempts to answer some questions that the previous review were unable to answer. Databases were searched and studies were screened for their relevance. Fifteen studies were located and the results were synthesised using a standardised metasynthesis methodology. Seven overarching themes emerged, illustrating positive and negative experiences of involuntary detention and factors which impact on these experiences. The synthesis resulted in clear recommendations for clinical practice and future research.Paper two is a qualitative study which sought to explore the experiences of detention under the Mental Health Act for anorexia nervosa. Four participants were inpatients and under the Mental Health Act at the time of interview and eight participants had been discharged. A grounded theory analysis revealed four overarching themes which capture their experiences over time and how these experiences impact on a person's recovery. The findings have been incorporated into a framework and are discussed in relation to existing literature. The paper outlines recommendations for clinical practice and future research.Paper three is a critical appraisal of the overall research process. It draws on the researcher's reflective journal to highlight the theoretical, methodological, personal challenges and learning outcomes which the researcher encountered. It discusses the clinical implications in relation to the researcher's future career as a clinical psychologist within the NHS, as well as the wider implication for the profession as a whole.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2015