From Referral to Discharge: The Experiences of Engaging with and Moving on from Early Intervention Services

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Clinical Psychology

  • Authors:
  • Matthew Loughlin


This thesis forms part of the examination for the Doctor of Clinical Psychology (ClinPsyD) in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (School of Health Sciences) at The University of Manchester. Paper one is a meta-synthesis of qualitative literature exploring the views of service users and carers/family members regarding their experiences of engaging with EIS. Following a standardised approach, four databases were searched and a sample of 14 papers were identified. Using an inductive thematic analysis (ITA) approach, within a critical realist epistemological framework, three main themes were identified: the importance of a personal relationship with an EIS staff member, the impact of this relationship and the consideration of life after EIS. The results highlighted the importance of service users and/or carers/family members building and maintaining a strong therapeutic bond with at least one member of EIS staff. Paper two is a qualitative study investigating service users’ experiences of transitioning from EIS. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 15 participants who had either been discharged to primary care or to Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) and analysed, again using ITA, adopting a critical realist stance. Analysis identified five main themes: feeling ready for discharge, relationships and trust, planning for discharge, expectations of future care and the safety net of early intervention. The results and discussions offer practical implications and recommendations for services. Paper three provides a critical reflection of the research process. It includes reflections on the methodological approaches used, strengths, limitations and implications of the findings for research and clinical practice.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date31 Dec 2018