Qualitative Investigation of Severe Mental Illness in Women

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Clinical Psychology

  • Authors:
  • Laura McGrath

Abstract

Qualitative Investigation of Severe Mental Illness in Women:AbstractPaper one is a systematic literature review of qualitative studies examining psychosis in women using a metasynthesis approach. The review involved three stages: a systematic search of qualitative studies reporting the experiences of women with psychosis, critical appraisal of these studies, and the metasynthesis. Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria, yielding data from 220 women in total. The synthesis of the studies demonstrated three overarching themes: (a) women's beliefs about their illness, (b) perceived consequences of illness, and (c) strategies to cope with illness. Important barriers to strategy use were identified and recommendations made for addressing them. In the second paper grounded theory methodology was used to explore recovery in women who had experienced psychosis following childbirth. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 participants and data were analysed using grounded theory methodology. A theory of four superordinate themes was developed from the data, including: (a) the process of recovery; (b) evolving an understanding; (c) strategies for recovery; and (d) sociocultual context. It was concluded that women experienced a complex process of recovery which was ongoing. The role of other people, including professionals in the recovery process was central. Recommendations were made for professionals to assess women's position in terms of their recovery in order to offer timely, appropriate interventions. The final paper is a critical reflection of the work reported in the previous two papers. I reflected upon how my previous experiences influenced my decision to undertake this research and other aspects of the research process. I explored the rationale for my choice of research methodology and discussed the debates which exist around the use of these methods. Finally, my personal reflections upon the entire research process are included. Laura Keffran McGrathThe University of ManchesterJune 2012Submitted for the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Details

Original languageEnglish
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Award date31 Dec 2012