• Digital Mental Health in the Wild: An Adapted Grounded Theory Study

      Mitchell, Andrew; Bergin, Aislinn D (University of Chester, 2017-12)
      This study explores Digital Mental Health (DMH), referring to the use of digital technologies in mental health, from the perspective of users and system builders – individuals ‘in the wild’. Using an adapted constructive Grounded Theory Methodology (Charmaz, 2014), it qualitatively explores DMH and how it is applied to everyday life. Interviews with users, developers and academics were supported by data collected from extant documents and observations. Findings addressed the complexity of development and use, where differences in priority between the technical and clinical paradigms in development challenged the usability and usefulness for consumers of DMH. Changes implemented within, and the transience of, DMH resources were constructed by users as potentially distressing and difficult for system builders to mitigate. DMH is a new and emerging way to self-manage mental health. However, whilst it provides options, it does not inform as to how to choose and, whilst it supports change, it is not in itself motivating. In understanding the role of DMH it is essential to consider it alongside existing mental health prevention and management. DMH is constructed not as use of a single resource, but rather a toolkit for self-management where resources are used in different ways and at different times. Some will be integral whilst others may be used more occasionally. Many of the participants identified the difficulties and challenges of managing their mental health with only traditional tools and interventions available, and how DMH offered additional ways of doing so. DMH offers users autonomy and a way to explore their experiences in a simulated environment, contributing to its purpose as a supplement to existing mental health provision. Understanding how DMH can supplement the existing treatment and management of mental health is essential. One key area is addressing the opportunities provided by the simulative functions of new technologies and how mobile technologies have enabled these to become part of the everyday lives of so many people. Finally, the concept of Technology-asAdvocate was constructed to identify the ways that technology can help individuals to help themselves. This study recommends that DMH stakeholders invest and conduct further research that bring together clinical, technical and user paradigms to better understand how changes to devices and resources impact users. It positions DMH within the initial stages of help-seeking and addresses its role as one of many tools in the individual’s self-care. It proposes that technology be viewed as supporting self-advocacy and theorises that future technologies, such as personal assistants, be designed to advocate rather than to dictate. It is vital that policymakers recognise the impact of changes for users who find resources that support them in their mental health and apply them within their everyday life.
    • The effects of induced negative mood state on recalled autobiographical content and memory

      Hayes, Peter; Boulton, Mike; Mitchell, Andrew E. P. (University of Chester, 2012-04)
      Autobiographical memory has been theorized to serve as an adaptive function in coping with negative mood state. To gain a better understanding of whether autobiographical memory changes with negative mood state, a number of experiments examined the relative accessibility of cognitive content and ability to recall specific event memories in those who had a previous history of depression or showed some aspects of current depressive symptoms. Five separate studies involved 288 participants and examined the effects of negative mood components on autobiographical recall. Studies 1 – 4 examined the autobiographical content by cueing content using a cue word technique to evoke autobiographical memories by means of a modified version of the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986). Negative mood state was induced by Velten mood induction technique, and self-reported mood was measured using University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology Mood Adjective Checklist (UWIST-MACL; Matthews, Jones & Chamberlain, 1990) before and after mood induction. The ability to recall specific event memories was measured in Study 5 by the Sentence Completion for Events from the Past Test (SCEPT; Raes, Hermans, Williams, & Eelen, 2007). The results indicate that negative mood does influence autobiographical recall in terms of content and memory. These results indicate that autobiographical memory is a phenomenon that is in part dependent on negative mood state and in part dependent on current depressive symptoms and history of depression. Increased rumination was particularly responsive to induced negative mood state in those with current depressive symptoms. Reduced levels of activity, alertness, loss of interest and diminished pleasure are aspects of negative mood that seem to be particularly important components of mood state at the time of recall. To gain further insights into mood state effects in autobiographical recall, future directions in mood research should focus on and differentiate between the separate mood state components that are more important in bringing about changes in recalled content, especially in those with either a history of depression or showing current depressive symptoms.
    • From Ascertainment to Assessment: The Development of a Social Work Role in Local Authorities, 1950-1993

      Burt, Michael (University of Chester, 2015)
      The social work literature of the last two decades has drawn attention to the increasing importance of the assessment role of social workers. However, there has been limited historical analysis of the development of the assessment function in social work. This study examines the way in which the assessment role of social workers in England and Wales developed between 1950 and 1993. Historical narrative has been used to develop the themes of this study, addressing the significance of interrelated events and the range of political, economic and social influences on the changes which took place. It uses archival sources as primary material, including the archive of Lancashire County Council which is employed as a case study. This study traces the stages of development of social policy for the assessment function of social workers in local authorities. It draws attention to the diverse approaches of separate occupational groups of social workers to making enquiries and investigations about the circumstances of people who experienced social problems in the 1950s. Principles of social assessment which emerged during the 1960s are explored, together with their wider application to all client groups during the 1970s and the development of assessment as a priority activity within the newly established Social Services Departments (SSDs). The importance of the development of criteria and models of assessment in the late 1970s and 1980s and their inclusion as part of the social work process in planning documents produced by SSDs in the 1980s is discussed. The significance of the children’s and adults’ legislation and accompanying documentation at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s in giving local authorities a lead role in the co-ordination of assessments is addressed. Although conventional interpretations of the history of social work have suggested that a high point in the development of social work was reached in the early 1970s, archival material points to the function of social assessment being at a particularly early stage of its development. As a consequence of the changes which took place, the thesis argues that assessment was a unifying influence on social work as a single occupational group and emerging profession.
    • The Global Mental Health Assessment Tool Primary Care and General Health Setting Version (GMHAT/PC): A validity and feasibility study – Spanish version

      Sharma, V. K.; Tejada, Paola A. (University of Chester, 2017)
      BACKGROUND: There is an urgent need to provide training and tools to frontline health workers in order for them to properly diagnose and treat mental illnesses in Latin-American communities, since the vast majority of people with a mental illness suffer in silence. A computer-assisted interview, the Global Mental Health Assessment Tool (GMHAT/PC) has been developed to assist general practitioners and other health professionals to make a quick, convenient, yet reasonably comprehensive and standardised mental health assessment. GMHAT/PC has been translated into various languages including German, Dutch, Chinese, Hindi and Arabic. This is the first study, of a GMHAT/PC Spanish version carried out in Latin America, to establish its validity in that culture and feasibility to be used in the health care setting. If proven a valid tool through this study, the GMHAT/PC Spanish version will be an important aid towards improving the mental health of Spanish-speaking communities within the Latin-American region. AIM: The study aims at assessing both the validity of a GMHAT/PC Spanish version, and the feasibility of utilising a computer assisted diagnostic interview by GPs. DESIGN: 1) Validation study was planned to establish whether the GMHAT/PC based diagnosis compares well with the consultants ICD-10 based diagnosis (Gold Standard) 2) Feasibility study was carried out to examine whether GMHAT/PC can be used in routine clinical care in a general health setting. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In the first study (validation), participants varied from those who were in remission i.e. without much psychopathology to those had symptoms of a severe mental illness. They were recruited from in-patient (82%) and out-patient (18%) mental health settings in Colombia. The participants were expected to have a wide range of psychiatric diagnoses (anxiety disorders, depression, psychosis, bipolar affective disorder, organic mental disorders, and other diagnoses). All consecutive patients were interviewed by GPs using GMHAT/PC and psychiatrists made an independent diagnosis applying ICD-10 criteria. The second study (feasibility) was carried out on patients hospitalised at medical, surgical and women’s wards during a period of one month in each service. The diagnosis of a medical illness was made by specialists in each service. A trained GP carried out psychiatric assessment of all participants using GMHAT/PC. RESULTS: First study (validity): two hundred ninety-nine patients (n=299) participated, 54.18% males and 45.81% females in the age range of 14-78. All patients were interviewed independently by seven psychiatrists with over five years of clinical experience. The mean duration of GMHAT/PC interview was 12.5 minutes. Most patients were pleased that they were asked about every aspect of their mental health. Psychiatrists made a single diagnosis in 183 (61%) cases, multiple (two) diagnosis in 112 (37%) cases and multiple (three) diagnosis in another four cases. GMHAT/PC in almost all cases gave additional multiple diagnoses.The results show an acceptable-to-good level of agreement between the GPs’ (GMHAT/PC) diagnoses and the psychiatrists’ (clinical) diagnoses of any mental illness, Kappa 0.58- 95% C.I (0.46, 0.72). There is a good level of sensitivity (81%) and specificity (92%), with GPs correctly identifying 242 out of the 250 participants diagnosed with a mental illness, and 27 out of 35 of those who do not present any whatsoever. The agreement (kappa value) between GMHAT/PC diagnosis and psychiatrists ICD-10 based diagnosis of specific disorders were as follows: Organic disorders-0.87; Psychosis- 0.56; Depression-0.53; Mania-0.6, Alcohol and drug misuse- 0.62, Learning disorder- 0.4; Personality Disorder- 0.39 and Anxiety disorders- 0.14. The sensitivity of different disorders ranged from 63% (Mania) to 100% (Anxiety) and specificity from 71% (Anxiety) to 100% (organic). The second study (feasibility): out of 455 medically-ill patients, 4.8% had a mental illness identified by GMHAT/PC interview. Anxiety, depression and organic disorders were the most frequently identified mental disorders in internal medicine and surgery. Cancer had a significantly higher prevalence of comorbid mental illness. CONCLUSION: GMHAT/PC -Spanish version used by GPs in this study detected mental disorders accurately and it was feasible to use GMHAT/PC in Colombia and Latin-American health settings. The findings of this study will have a big impact upon mental health service provision in Spanish-speaking nations within the Latin-American region as the Spanish version for GMHAT/PC will assist primary care physicians and other health workers in detecting and managing mental health disorders in the communities. There is no other comparable easy-to-use comprehensive mental health diagnostic tool available in Spanish.
    • A grounded theory study to explore how clinical nurses undertaking research as master's students accommodate and adjust to the experience

      Thomas, Mike; Keen, Adam (University of Chester, 2016-02)
      Taught master's degree programmes represent a popular mechanism for part-time students to access postgraduate level education. A common feature of such programmes is the inclusion of some form of independent research project. Whilst such projects are recognised as being demanding for the students involved, there is a scarcity of research literature that explores their experiences. In this study I have now explored how clinical nurses, as an example of a particular professional group, accommodated and adjusted to the experience of undertaking part-time master's research. My intent was to contribute to the body of knowledge relating to the support of part-time students undertaking master's research.
    • The health consultation experience for people with learning disabilities: A constructivist grounded theory study based on symbolic interactionism

      Chapman, Hazel M. (University of Chester, 2014-06-09)
      Aims. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of the health consultation experience for people with learning disabilities, particularly in terms of their self-concept Background. Annual health checks have been introduced as a reasonable adjustment for health providers to make in meeting the needs of people with learning disabilities, who experience significantly poorer health outcomes than the general population. Evaluation of the health consultation from the service user perspective can inform this service provision. Design. A constructivist grounded theory approach, based on symbolic interactionism, was used to explore the meaning of the health consultation experience for the person with learning disabilities, and its effects on their sense of self. Methods. Purposive and snowballing sampling was used to recruit 25 participants with learning disabilities through a GP practice, self-advocacy groups and a health facilitator. Nine individual interviews, three interviews with two participants, three focus groups (n=7, n=5 and n=3), and an audio-recorded health check consultation were carried out (with two participants interviewed twice and four attending two focus groups), as well as a member check used to assess the resonance of the findings. Data collection was undertaken in different primary care trusts across the north west of England. Data were subjected to constant comparative analysis, using a symbolic interactionist approach, to explore all aspects of the health consultation experience and its effects on the self. Findings. Current expectations, attitudes and feelings about health consultations were strongly influenced by previous experience. Participants negotiated their own reality within the consultation, which affected their self-concept and engagement with their health care. Respectful and secure health professional – service user relationships, developed over time, were central to an effective consultation. Perspectives on the consultation, and engagement within it, were co-constructed with a companion, who could help to promote the personhood of the service user with support from the health professional. Anxiety, embarrassment and felt stigma were identified as significant barriers to communication and engagement within the consultation. Conclusions. People with learning disabilities have similar health consultation needs and expectations to other people, but may have more difficulties in engaging with the process and building trusting relationships with the health professional, due to previous negative experiences, anticipated stigma and loss of self within health settings leading to a fear of disclosure. This, combined with difficulties in communication and cognitive processing, results in less satisfactory outcomes persisting over time. The effects of triadic consultations are generally positive, particularly where relatives or health facilitators are involved. However, continuity of companion as well as health professional is needed, and more service user engagement should be supported. Fundamental attitude change by health professionals, supported by specific educational initiatives to enhance their understanding of the service user perspective, is needed to reduce health inequalities. Participatory research by people with learning disabilities should inform future health care practice.
    • Incontinence after childbirth and the effect on female sexuality and quality of life

      Ellis, Roger; Hogard, Elaine; Doyle, Mark; Bryceland, Linda (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, 2007-08)
      Objectives To determine obstetric, maternal and fetal variables that increase the risk of postnatal urinary and anal incontinence. To establish how anal and urinary incontinence impact on Quality of Life (QoL) with particular reference to sexual psychology. Finally, to ascertain the extent of disclosure of incontinence problems to partners and health professionals. Design A longitudinal, prospective, repeated measures, cohort study using five data sources. Data was collected in the last trimester of pregnancy, at 6 weeks postnatal, 6 months postnatal and finally at one year postnatal. Setting Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Participants Primiparous women with no pre-existing disease (N=516). Participants were recruited after a normal 20 week obstetric ultrasound scan. Results Stress incontinence was reported by 39.7% antenatally, 28.2% at 6 weeks postnatal, 31% at 6 months and 26.5% at one year postnatal. Urge incontinence was reported by 23.5% antenatally, 21.2% at 6 weeks, 21.4% at 6 months and 16.4% at one year postnatal. Anal incontinence at one year postnatal was reported by 9.39%. Those participants under the age of 20yrs had higher rates of postnatal urge incontinence (p<.001) possibly associated with increased rates of infection in this group. BMI>30 was associated with higher rates of antenatal stress incontinence but was not significant in the postnatal period. BMI<20 was associated with an increase in postnatal urge incontinence. Prolonged periods of time in labour without bladder emptying was associated with increased rates of both urinary incontinence (OR 2.36) and anal incontinence (p=.026). Forceps delivery was associated with postnatal stress incontinence (OR 2.41). Although caesarean section appeared protective against urinary incontinence initially, long-term data show a progressive increase in reported rates of urinary incontinence even after elective caesarean section. Elective caesarean section was protective for anal incontinence. Faecal incontinence was significantly higher (OR 3.26) in the group who had their labour induced (12.1%) compared to those who had a spontaneous labour (4.6%). Perineal trauma was not associated with anal incontinence. However, it was associated with urinary incontinence throughout the postnatal year with anal sphincter disruption having the highest rates of stress incontinence (p<.005). Birth weight, duration of labour, feeding method, epidural anaesthesia and smoking were not significant. Overall, urinary incontinence appears to be a regressive condition, although the impact on QoL is cumulative and seems to increase over time. Some participants had a progressive, deteriorating condition which appears to be associated with a higher BMI or >6 hours from bladder emptying to delivery of the baby. Urinary and anal incontinence had a detrimental effect on all QoL domains. Those reporting nocturnal enuresis, pain, intercourse incontinence and urge incontinence were effected the most. The greatest impact is on the emotion domain. Only 8.7% with urinary incontinence and 9.7% with anal incontinence discussed their symptoms with a health professional. Discussion with a partner was 32.8% and 21.4% respectively. The most common reasons for non-disclosure were embarrassment, fear of not being taken seriously and not wanting to waste the time of the health professional. Those participants who did disclose tended to have multiple symptoms. Pregnancy and childbirth appear to have a detrimental impact on sexual psychology, irrespective of continence status. Those who reported incontinence appear to have less sexual depression than the continent group suggesting the adoption of defense mechanisms to preserve the sexual Self. Conclusion Generally, urinary incontinence is a regressive condition. Risk factors for a progressive condition have been identified. Younger pregnant women appear to be more prone to infection which can sensitise the bladder and result in long term urinary incontinence. Prolonged periods of time in labour without voiding increases the risk of urinary and anal incontinence and is associated with a deterioration of symptoms over time. Whilst for all other modes of delivery the rate of UI decreased over time, in the elective CS group, the rate of UI increased steadily throughout the postnatal year. These findings support previous studies and suggest a degree of under-recognition or under-reporting of anal sphincter trauma leading to dysfunction. The impact of incontinence on quality of life domains shows clear evidence that the condition has a detrimental impact on many aspects of an individuals well being. Those women reporting intercourse incontinence had the greatest impact on QoL domains. Few women seek help for their condition and a number of personal and organisational factors have been highlighted which contribute to keeping incontinence both secret and taboo. It is clear that what incontinent women think is affecting the way they feel and ultimately their behaviour. Psychological defence mechanisms are employed to justify their inaction.
    • Internal representation in nurse education: Imagery and identity

      Hogard, Elaine; Ellis, Roger; Smith, Dave; Wheeler, Timothy J.; Parry, Clare E. (University of Chester, 2010-10)
      The main aim of this thesis was to examine internal representation in the context of nurse education using two main output variables - namely imagery and identity. The initial basic argument for the thesis was that procedures to facilitate the acquisition of psychomotor skills that have been developed in sports science could fruitfully be applied to the development of skills in other areas, such as nurse education. Study one approached this through the use of an imagery training programme - PETTIER (Holmes & Collins, 2001) on an undergraduate nursing curriculum. PETTIER served as the independent variable with the dependent variable - performance - being measured through Obje&tive Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). Unexpected results revealed no significant differences between the control and experimental groups, with the control group actually performing better overall. Given this, the explicit choice was made to pursue investigation into the other plausible factors affecting behaviour, in order to explicate and underpin the results obtained. Study two investigated students' perceptions of and preparation for the OSCEs using a skills training questionnaire. Results revealed common concerns, specifically related to skills practice. Furthermore these concerned the amount of practice time provided; the practice environment; and the amount of support and training during teaching. In light of these findings, study three pursued a contrasting and comparative investigation from the professionals' perspective on the curriculum. This specifically examined perceptions of the assessment structure and expectations within the curriculum; the content of the curriculum; levels of support and provision for training; and the application of theory and practice. This aimed to identify any coherent or conflicting views between the students' receiving the curriculum and the staff delivering the curriculum. Results revealed coherency in the professional view that theory and practice were equally as important for nurse education. However, students commonly perceived practice as the most important aspect. Also, some students often struggled to apply theory to practice and vice versa. In light of this it became apparent that students may in fact identify differently with the content of the curriculum. Therefore, appraisal of the content may have different significance for students and affect behaviour differently both internally and/or externally. Study four investigated this using Identity Structure Analysis (ISA)/lpseus (Weinreich & Saunderson, 2003).This explored how students applied themselves to the various aspects of nursing in the contexts of healthcare and broader affiliations, and how these fitted into students' broader sense of identity. It also looked at typologies within nursing and whether identity fitted into three distinct categories depending on construals. Study five followed this up using two individual case studies. The purpose of this was to encapsulate meaning behind individual construals and typologies and explicate the findings of ISA/lpseus and the implications for nurse education. Results found that construals are grounded in experiences which can affect development, behaviour and identity towards nursing and the broader affiliations in individuals' lives. In conclusion identity in nursing should be investigated further in order to provide stronger evidence in regards to typologies and how these may be influencing students' behaviour and development in nurse education. Such research could have important implications for the future of nurse education and be a positive step towards future curriculum revisions.
    • Justice of truth? Alleged offenders with intellectual disabilities in the criminal justice system

      Lovell, Andy; Hellenbach, Michael (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2011-09)
      This PhD study examines how people who are intellectually impaired are processed within the criminal justice system. In this context it analyses the understanding of intellectual disabilities, criminal justice decision-making processes, and the constructon of crime and punishment by professionals involved in criminal justice. Despite significant changes in mental health legislation and greater awareness by professionals of issues around intellectually disabled offenders, previous research has demonstrated that this population remains disadvantaged when coming into contact with the criminal justice system. The study focuses on how the criminal justice system maintains its traditional way of operating when engaging with people who are impaired in their intellectual capacities and who, therefore, often have difficulties in processing information and understanding complex situations. The study draws on qualitative data generated through thirty five unstructured interviews with custody sergeants, forensic examiners, prosecutors, magistrates, judges and probation officers from three regions in the North West of England: Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. Through those interviews, the provision of support to alleged offenders is examined and the process of legal representation evaluated. By analysing decision-making processes around vulnerable defendants, two conflicting views that influence cimrinal justice professionals in their strategic behaviour were identified: protecting offenders' rights and protecting the public from criminal behaviour. It is argued that the criminal justice system draws its normative and enforcement powers from a 'discourse of truth' that concentrates on capacity and intent. Defendants who are classified as vulnerable because of impaired intellectual functioning whereby capacity to reason and intellectual disability are functionally separated. This way, an alleged offender's vulnerability becomes a manageable object within the criminal justice system and is integrated into a person's risk management. The disjointed discourse around intellectual disabilities increases the risk that people with an impaired level of intellectual functioning become drawn into the mainstream criminal justice system and, therefore, further compromises the empowerment and social inclusion of this population.
    • Narratives of personalisation in mental health: a collective case study

      Lovell, Andy; Coyle, David S. (University of Chester, 2016-11)
      This work describes the impact of personalisation on users and professional workers identities in four mental health care settings. The development and context of personalisation is identified and set within an emergent narrative of consumer choice and austerity. International personalisation research is compared and a discussion of UK mental health literature is presented. The social constructions of key participants are analysed through their narrative accounts as they undertook identity work while being involved with individual budget pilots, either as users, carers, brokers or mental health professionals. The work employs Stake’s collective case study as the method of combining semi-structured interview data taken from participants in four personalisation studies designed and led by this author between 2008-2011. Narrative social constructionist methods, positioning theory and story-line are used in the analysis to produce a framework of participants’ orientation to personalisation. The importance of nuance as opposed to binary construction towards personalisation is highlighted, as are the positioning actions of independent brokers for the success of personalisation. The importance of co-production and challenging professional asymmetry in health and social mental health care services is clearly made as are the implications for practice. The value of the proposed framework and possible future research are discussed.
    • The perceptions and experiences of e-learning within undergraduate healthcare education: A case study

      Brownsell, Michael D. (University of Chester, 2016-03)
      Introduction: The use of e-learning in healthcare education is being increasingly advocated and used, but can prove challenging. The need to explore educator’s experience and student perspectives in relation to this area of pedagogy was identified as a relevant area of study Study Aim: To explore and critically analyse the perspectives and experiences of healthcare educators and students regarding e-learning. Design: A mixed methods exploratory case study of one HEI’s use of e-learning. Methods: Quantitative descriptive data was collected through educator and student questionnaires from 34 academics and 127 students across four university departments delivering undergraduate healthcare related programmes. A sample of 12 module web spaces and associated documentation was reviewed. The data sets were considered in relation to the thematic analysis of 16 semi-structured educator interviews and 6 healthcare student focus groups. Results: Educator and student needs are interwoven during undergraduate healthcare provision. Differing educational philosophies, practices and culture across the cases created opportunities and challenges with e-learning. Two differing, yet potentially complimentary definitions of e-learning existed within and across the four departments which produced either congruence or conflict toward the varied e-learning approaches. Student respondents selectively engaged in what was primarily educator controlled e-learning. Conclusions: The findings highlighted the need for agreement and understanding of philosophical and pedagogical underpinnings which define and shape e-learning by educators and students, along with an awareness of differing professional cultures across which e-learning is required to operate. Originality / Value: The findings of this study offer a deeper understanding of the effect on educator and student engagement in e-learning of differing higher education and professional practice education cultures. A model is offered as a response to particular issues faced by the study respondents; whilst non-generalisable the model may serve as an enlightening guide for educators who are introducing or applying constructivist e-learning practices within undergraduate healthcare provision and benefit the student experience.
    • Perceptions of care and caring: An orthopaedic perspective

      Mason-Whitehead, Elizabeth; Mason, Tom; Flynn, Sandra D. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)Countess of Chester NHS Trust, 2013-05)
      “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn life around,” (Leo F Buscaglia 1924-1998). Caring is a universal phenomenon (Leininger, 1988a, 1991) that influences the way we think, feel and act and is the focus of debate worldwide. Studied since the days of Florence Nightingale and reflected in the literature are numerous theoretical opinions in the search for a comprehensive understanding of caring in the health experience of human beings (Newman et al., 1991). This ethnographic thesis has a caring science perspective (caring in orthopaedics) with the aim of acquiring a greater understanding of perceptions of caring in an orthopaedic clinical setting from both patient and health care professional perspectives. There is a wealth of literature relating to caring which attempts to define and interpret its meaning from several theoretical perspectives. In respect of institutional or professional caring, nursing has historically been synonymous with the notion of care and caring, modest research has been attributed to caring amongst other health care professionals in the wider context. The study used a sequential exploratory mixed methods design and was underpinned by Watson’s Theory of Transpersonal Care in order to discover and illuminate the essential caring behaviours valued by both care givers and care recipients. A total of 30 patients and 53 health care professionals consisting of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists participated in the study through a three stage approach consisting of questionnaires, observation and semi-structured interviews. The findings revealed both similarities and differences between patients and health care professionals relating to the importance of positive caring behaviours revealed during caring interactions. The questionnaires disclosed that patients statistically rated caring behaviours demonstrated by health care professionals lower than the professionals rated themselves. The data analysis from the participant observation and semi-structured interviews established that although all of the caring caratives according to Watson’s Theory of Care were evident in caring interactions they varied as to the number of times they were exhibited by the respected health care professional groups. Overall patient perception of caring focused upon behaviours related to the caring carative ‘assurance of human presence’ whilst health care professionals considered caring behaviours relating to the caring carative ‘respectful deference’ as the most important. This thesis highlights the need of the patient to feel ‘cared for’ and ‘cared about’ and in today’s modern health care system caring should not be monopolised by one profession but instead the caring concept embraced and the caring dais shared by other professions.
    • Personal grooming (beyond hygiene): a grounded theory study.

      Mason, Tom; Gidman, Janice; Mason-Whitehead, Elizabeth; Boulton, Michael J.; Woodhouse, Jan (University of Chester, 2015-10)
      Background: We are very individualistic in how we present ourselves to the world. Whilst we are healthy and self-caring we have control over the way we undertake self-groom. Once we need care the situation may change. In the setting of health and social care the emphasis has been on hygiene; aspects of personal grooming [PG] may be overlooked. Few studies exist in the health and social care literature that explore this crucial daily activity of living. Aim: This study aims to address the imbalance on what is known of PG. It seeks to thoroughly explore the concept of PG, identifying the normative activities involved, and the age-related behaviours that occur across the lifespan. Methods: Utilising a grounded theory [GT] methodology, an eclectic data collection approach was taken. Consequently a pilot group, four focus groups (child-focused; males 18-45; females 18-45; over-46), and a visual methodology formed the first phase of the study. The second phase consisted of a formal concept analysis, drawing on literature and data from the focus groups. The final phase of the study involved one-to-one semi-structured interviews with retired persons. A total of 26 participants took part in the study and both genders were represented. Analysis was undertaken using the range of coding consistent with a GT approach and the notion of constant comparison. Findings: New knowledge on PG emerged; an academic definition of PG; PG was found to have ‘four elements’: hygiene, appearance management behaviours, body modification and enhancement. There was a ‘spectrum’ of grooming recognised, which ranged from the wild, un-groomed state to that of being over-groomed. The term ‘allo-grooming’, which means grooming of another, was used to explore the part families play in social learning about PG. A timeline of PG behaviours was created to illustrate how PG changes over the lifespan. Additionally, information on grooming activities, other than those of hygiene, was recorded. Implications: PG is complex and the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach of concentrating on hygiene may not meet the needs of service users. Some body areas, for example, are not included in the published documents that help to guide care services. There appears to a gap in educational programmes of health and social care workers, in respect to PG. Recommendations for practice, policy, education and further research are proposed.
    • A phenomenological investigation of pre-qualifying nursing, midwifery and social work students’ perceptions of learning from patients and clients in practice settings

      Newton, Jethro; Mason, Tom; Gidman, Janice (University of LiverpoolUniversity of Chester, 2009-08)
      Government policies have emphasised the importance of patient and client involvement in all aspects of health and social care delivery, with a corresponding impetus for their involvement in the education of practitioners. Professional education programmes adopt andragogical, student-centred approaches and incorporate both academic and practice based learning and assessments. Practice experience is recognised as a crucial aspect of student learning and has become a major focus of quality reviews in health and social care education. Whilst it might seem self-evident that students on practice placements will learn from their interactions with patients and clients, this is a relatively neglected area for formal modeling, evaluation and research. This study, therefore, explores pre-qualifying nursing, midwifery and social work students’ experiences of learning from patients and clients during practice placements. The research project is underpinned by a descriptive phenomenological approach and the extensive data are analysed using phenomenological reduction (Giorgi, 1989a; 1989b). Two key themes and six categories emerged from the data. The first theme is presented as the ‘Ways of Learning’ and this comprises the categories of: facilitation of learning; critical incidents/patient stories; and role modeling. The second theme is presented as the ‘Nature of Learning’ and comprises three categories: professional ideals; professional relationships; and understanding patients’ and clients’ perspectives. It is evident that contemporary theories, including andragogy, social learning, experiential, reflective and transformative learning theories, remain relevant to professional education. The new knowledge obtained in this research is that the most powerful learning opportunities result from unplanned, informal learning opportunities involving interactions with patients and clients. However, this is not fully explained by these contemporary learning theories. This thesis will, therefore, argue that complexity theory is relevant to the requirements of professional education programmes. It will present an overarching framework to explain the data from this study and will propose strategies to harness the complexity inherent in this important aspect of student learning.
    • Practice change and development: An insider view - a grounded theory study on the nature of nursing practice change

      Mason, Tom; Fallows, Stephen; Thomas, Mike; Meredith, Linda (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)University of Chester, 2012-04)
      Change is a common feature of nursing, influenced by prevailing governments as part of their political agendas. These changes have impacted both on the context within which nursing takes place as well as on the actual role of the nurse. For change agents who are implementing these changes, it is imperative that they are aware of how nurses respond to change in order that they can plan the most effective strategies. This thesis investigated how nurses understand their own practice changes, the process that they undergo, how resistance to change manifests and if nursing rituals have an impact on the process. Finally the thesis made recommendations based on the findings to facilitate effective practice change and development. The study was conducted in two parts. In-depth interviews with eight nurses from one acute NHS Trust made up the first part of the study. A further two interviews were conducted with eleven mental health nurses from an early intervention team in one NHS Mental Health Partnership Trust, and this constituted the second part of the study. Constructivist grounded theory was the research method employed in the design of the study. An underpinning theoretical framework of structural anthropology with specific reference to the work of Levi-Strauss was used to present the final grounded theory. The study found that nurses understood the process of practice change as a spiral with the most significant aspects of practice change at the bottom. These were the day-to-day changes that may or may not lead to permanent change. At the top of the hierarchy and of least significance were the changes imposed by their employing organisations or nationally. The overall personal process of practice change and development was identified from the study as a process that centres on the experiences that participants have in their workplace, a process of sense making, learning and intuition. A Practice Change Model in the form of a continuum was developed that described how nurses respond to practice change and development. The significance of this study is that the thesis was able to identify strategies for promoting effective practice change and development, aimed at nurses in practice, change agents at an organisational and national level, and the clinical link role within higher education.
    • Realities from practice: What it means to midwives and student midwives to care for women with BMIs ≥30kg/m2 during the childbirth continuum

      Steen, Mary; Thomas, Mike; Roberts, Taniya (University of Chester, 2016-12)
      Women with raised BMIs ≥30kg/m2 have now become the ‘norm’ in maternity practice due to the recent obesity epidemic. To date only very limited research evidence exists highlighting midwives’ experiences of caring for this group of women. This thesis aims to provide original research on what it means to midwives and student midwives on the point of qualification to care for this client group throughout the childbirth continuum.
    • Retrospective cohort study of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the Wirral peninsula: complexity science

      Nwaneri, Chukwuemeka (University of Chester, 2014)
      T2DM continues to be a public health burden with its increasing incidence, prevalence, and mortality risks. The aim of this thesis was to examine a population-based cohort of 22,000 people with T2DM diagnosed between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2010 within the Wirral Peninsula, UK with the aim of: Assessing factors relating to all-cause, cardivascular-, malignancy-, and non-cardiovascular mortality; evaluating the role of glycaemic control, socioeconomic status, smoking, dyslipidaemia, blood pressure, obesity, and nephropathy, as predicting risk factors for mortality; assessing the influence of age at diagnosis, duration of diabetes, year of diagnosis and gender on mortality; examining the life expectancy and mortality patterns and measuring the years of life lost as a result of a diagnosis of T2DM; applying Complexity Science to the dynamic interplay of the various factors in T2DM that lead to unpredictability in health outcomes.
    • Social Work Discourses: An Exploratory Study

      Roscoe, Karen D. (University of Chester, 2014-04)
      This study aims to critically analyse and explore how social workers (operating in the adult social work practice domain) draw on wider social (and social work) discourses in accounting for the work that they do. Utilising purposeful samples of students and qualified social work practitioners, this exploratory study of discourses analyses the implications this has on the construction of the social work identity, role and practice (action). Driven by a series of research questions, the objectives of this research were: 1) To critically analyse and explore the discourses on which students and social work practitioners draw on in their accounts of social work practice; 2) To identify and critically analyse the subject positions and discursive practices (collective ways of speaking) of social workers in respect of these discourses; 3) To critically analyse how and in what way social workers at different stages of the career trajectory draw differently upon these discourses; 4) To critically analyse and evaluate the implications for practice and service users of the respondents’ subject positioning and the discursive practices that they employ; 5) Develop a critically reflexive method (model) for social work education and research in order to make recommendations for research, education and critical social work practice (in the context of self-awareness). As this study involves several people in the exploration of adult social work (Community Care policy context), it will contribute to knowledge of the meaning given to contemporary social work. It does so by expanding the concept of discourse analysis to the wider social context in which the overall narrative (story) is ‘told’. This research aims to understand how respondents draw on discourses in particular ways and includes an analysis of the contradictions and gaps within the overall narrative of social work. Stemming from wider pre-determined narratives that are available in social work cultures, this study not only analyses the words themselves by utilising discourse analytic tools, but demonstrates new ways in which to apply critical discourse analysis in the exploration of accounts of social work. In this examination, this research critically analyses and evaluates the implications these discourses can have on identity construction (personal and professional self), as well as on those social work intends to benefit (service users).
    • Stigma: Personality disorder and homicide in the U.K. red-top tabloid press, 2001-2012

      Lovell, Andy; McIntosh-Scott, Annette; Bowen, Matt (University of Chester, 2018-08-28)
      There is evidence of stigma towards people with personality disorder from within healthcare systems, but relatively little known about other aspects of stigmatisation. This study explored the image within the red-top tabloids of people with personality disorder who have committed homicide and how this may have contributed to the processes of stigmatisation. The analysis was underpinned by a symbolic interactionist perspective on individuals and society and was informed by the modified labelling model. The role the press plays in the processes of stigmatisation is elaborated through exploration of the theoretical models and empirical evidence. The data set for the thesis was articles published by the red-top tabloids between the years 2001 and 2012 (inclusively) that made reference to personality disorder. The data set was analysed using three methods: content analysis, corpus linguistics and frame analysis. The three methods were used in a mixed methods approach with a sequential design so that the results from one stage of the analysis fed into the next stage. The content analysis of the data set identified that of the 552 articles published about people with personality disorder, 42% met the criteria for being homicide themed. Analysis identified that there was a significant reduction in the proportion of homicide themed newspaper articles in the period 2007-2012 compared to 2001-2006 ((1, n=552) = 7.38, p < .05), however, the effect size was small (φ = .12). Corpus linguistics analysis was used on articles that were homicide themed and identified 22 words that were stigmatising in their use, and were used proportionally more frequently than a comparator data set. These words were categorised as either epithets (e.g. psycho, monster), qualities (e.g. evil) or contributing to the process of labelling (e.g. branded). Comparison between 2001-2006 and 2007-2012 identified a proportional increase in the use of stigmatising descriptors, but to a level that was not considered to be significant ((1, n=114110) = 1.53, p > .05). Frame analysis of the homicide data set identified a dominant news frame in the articles, referred to as lock them up and throw away the key. This news frame was structured on a model that the problem was a failure to protect us, the public, from the risk presented by them, dangerous people with personality disorder who commit homicide. The results of the study are discussed in relation to the model elaborated in the study of the role the red-top tabloids may play in the processes of stigmatisation. Implications for practice include using personality disorder in press guidance, and training for clinicians about attitudes towards people with personality disorder to include reviewing the impact of the press.
    • Understanding the diffusion of the idea of contact with nature to enhance health: An Eliasian case study

      Thurston, Miranda; Greening, Kim L. (University of Chester, 2015-12)
      In public health working in a less medical and more preventative way by focussing on the wider determinants of health, inter-sectoral collaboration, and evidence based practice have been advocated as ways to raise the health status of the population. In recent years, the idea of contact with nature to enhance health has come to the fore as one way to tackle current public health challenges: for example, diabetes, overweight and obesity, chronic liver disease, hypertension and mental health problems. Yet little is known about how this idea has diffused through the interdependent figurations of researchers, policy makers and into use through the actions of people in local organisations. The processes connecting these interdependent figurations are complex and, in the case of contact with nature, are not well understood. This is the research problem this thesis seeks to address, that is to say, the evidence into action process of an idea. The theoretical perspective of Norbert Elias is used throughout the thesis to analyse the diffusion process of the idea. Elias’s work is concerned with long term processes in human history; in adherence with his approach to sociological inquiry a historical context going back more than three generations provides the backdrop for the empirical work. An examination of the context illuminated the significance of the decade of the 1970s onwards to the present use of the idea of contact with nature in public health; notably the shift in discourse about hazards, risk and threats from nature to one of health enhancement. Norbert Elias’s own thinking and discourse about contact with nature to enhance health is used as a touchstone for the analysis. The empirical data in the thesis is generated through mixed methods, principally bibliometrics and content analysis, to reveal the diffusion and development of the idea over time and to show the way that the idea is framed when used by researchers, policy makers and by people within organisations. An Eliasian approach to case study methodology is utilised. Sub-study 1 revealed that empirical research literature about the idea emerged in the 1970s and that the number of publications per annum increased year on year until 2005. The empirical research was generated by researchers located across several continents and from different disciplines. Early researchers into the idea investigated the psychological benefits whilst latterly epidemiological studies have come to the fore. Sub-study 2 showed that the idea was taken up widely by policy makers in four government departments in England from 2000, with a peak in 2011. There were more references to the idea in the policy documents of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs than other government departments; the references of this department took an ecosystem services stance. Sub-study 3 showed that during July to October 2013 and within Greater Manchester, 36 organisations were providing and/or promoting activities which involved the idea of contact with nature on their websites. Of these 36 organisations, 16 (44%) were conservation/wildlife based agencies whose use of the idea included the pursuit of their own agendas and purposes. ix An analysis of the results, using the theoretical perspective of Norbert Elias, shows the involvement of many figurations of interdependent individuals, and the long term, largely unplanned, and non-linear character of the diffusion process. The empirical findings reflect the transdisciplinary nature of the research, inter-sectoral collaboration across government departments within policy, and the adoption of the idea outside of the traditional health service. People and thinking from the environment sector have greatly influenced the diffusion and development of the idea, and their involvement has widened the scope and form of public health action.