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The experience of being assessed and detained under the Mental Health Act (1983): An interpretative phenomenological analysis

unspecified (2015) The experience of being assessed and detained under the Mental Health Act (1983): An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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This thesis aims to explore some of the key perspectives of service users and mental health workers regarding assessment and detention under the Mental Health Act (1983).
The first paper is a critical review of the research literature on service user and mental health workers’ perspectives of the Mental Health Act assessment. The main finding of the review is that context, relationships, agency and risk are issues that influence people’s perspectives. A relative paucity of qualitative research may reflect an under-representation of service user perspectives and needs. Qualitative research targeting service user experiences of assessment was recommended.
The second paper employs interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) (Smith, Flowers and Larkin, 2009) to conduct an empirical investigation of the assessment and detention process. The main aims of this paper were: to determine how people make sense of their experience of being assessed and detained; and, to identify key interpretative themes that can help inform communication in the assessment setting. The main findings were that participants predominantly perceived their treatment experience as negative. This negative perception might be explained by individual psychological factors associated with negative bias and cognitive perceptual disruption, and relational processes associated with labelling theory.
The third paper is a critically reflexive commentary of the research thesis process. The epistemologies that underpin the development and application of psychological theory are considered. IPA method is critiqued and suggestions for its development provided. Particular attention is paid to the importance of reflexivity in the gathering and interpretation of data. The paper concludes that IPA, not without limitations, is mainly successful in operationalising its theoretical concepts.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Depositing User: Kim MCGAW
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2016 09:53
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2016 09:53
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/2243

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