• Advanced Qualitative Research: A Guide to Using Theory

      O’Reilly, Michelle; Kiyimba, Nikki; University of Chester; Leicester University (Sage, 2015-05-29)
      This distinctive, nuanced book addresses the more complex theoretical issues embedded in the qualitative research paradigm. Adopting a reflective stance that emphasises the role of the researcher it carefully avoids a standardised ‘tick box’ approach to methods. Throughout each chapter, theory is powerfully and persuasively interwoven as its impact on practical topics such as data management and safety in the field is discussed. O'Reilly and Kiyimba bring an authority and clarity to the debate, taking us beyond the mechanical notions of qualitative methods and standardised approaches to research. Instead, they focus on subjects like methodological integrity, perspective driven data collection and theoretically-led analysis. This will be an important resource for anyone looking to practically engage with advanced qualitative research methods.
    • The clinical use of Subjective Units of Distress scales (SUDs) in child mental health assessments: A thematic evaluation.

      Kiyimba, Nikki; O’Reilly, Michelle; Karim, Khalid; University of Chester; University of Leicester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-07-04)
      Background: Despite the ubiquitous use of Subjective Units of Distress scales (SUDs) in mental health settings to establish levels of distressing emotion, there has been little empirical research in this area. SUDs are commonly used in therapy and assessments, and are a particularly useful tool for establishing current and previous levels of distress in children and young people. Aims: To explore the use of the SUD analogue rating scale in initial child mental health assessments to better understand its application in this context. Method: The data corpus consisted of 28 naturally-occurring video recordings of children and young people attending their first assessment appointment at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). A thematic analysis was utilised to explore the specific interactional use of SUDs. Results: Four themes were identified; recency, longevity, context and miscommunication. The first three themes were found to supplement the child’s emotional score on the scale and were important in establishing the necessity for further therapeutic support. Miscommunication as a theme highlighted the need for clarity when using SUDs with children and young people. Conclusions: Recommendations were suggested for practitioners working with children and young people relating to the extended use of rating scales in clinical assessments.
    • Discursive Psychology as a method of analysis for the study of couple and family therapy

      O’Reilly, Michelle; Kiyimba, Nikki; Lester, Jessica N.; University of Leicester; University of Chester; Indiana University (Wiley, 2018-03-08)
      The field of couple and family therapy has benefitted from evidence generated from qualitative approaches. Evidence developed from approaches relying on language and social interaction using naturally occurring recordings of real-world practice has the benefit of facilitating practice-based recommendations and informing practice. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of one approach to discourse analysis, Discursive Psychology (DP), demonstrating how a social constructionist framework and focus on discourse can provide an important contribution to the field of therapy. To illustrate the methodological decision-making process for researchers and/or practitioners who utilize DP, we draw upon a video-recorded therapeutic session involving Tom Andersen. To conclude, we make recommendations for practitioners using DP to explore and examine therapeutic practice.
    • Discursive Psychology: Implications for counselling psychology

      Lester, Jessica N.; O’Reilly, Michelle; Kiyimba, Nikki; Wong, J.; University of Chester (Sage, 2018-07-13)
      In this article, we present discursive psychology (DP), a qualitative approach that focuses on the study of conversational and textual materials, including everyday interactions. Although DP is well-established methodologically and theoretically and used widely in Europe and in the Commonwealth countries, it is relatively unknown in counseling psychology in the United States. As such, the purpose of this article is to provide a general overview of DP and offer guidance for researchers who may be interested in studying and using DP. We thus discuss practical considerations for doing DP, including the development of research questions, carrying out data collection, and conducting DP-informed analysis. We also provide a general overview of the history of DP and key resources for those interested in studying it further, while noting the usefulness of DP for counseling psychology.
    • Question use in child mental health assessments and the challenges of listening to families.

      O’Reilly, Michelle; Karim, Khalid; Kiyimba, Nikki; University of Chester; University of Leicester (The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015-10-07)
      Background: The mental health assessment is a fundamental aspect of clinical practice and central to this is the use of questions. Aims: To investigate the frequency and type of questions utilised within a child mental health assessment. Method: The data consisted of 28 naturally occurring assessments from a UK child and adolescent mental health service. Data were analysed using quantitative and qualitative content analysis to determine frequencies and question type. Results: Results indicated a total of 9086 questions in 41 h across the 28 clinical encounters. This equated to a mean of 3.7 questions per minute. Four types of questions were identified; yes–no interrogatives, wh-prefaced questions, declarative questions and tag questions. Conclusions: The current format of questioning may impede the opportunity for families to fully express their particular concerns and this has implications for service delivery and training.
    • Reflecting on what ‘you said’ as a way of reintroducing difficult topics in child mental health assessments

      Kiyimba, Nikki; O’Reilly, Michelle; University of Chester; University of Leicester (Wiley, 2017-03-25)
      Background In child and adolescent mental health assessments, questions are integral to the process. There has been limited research focused on the assessment process, or on how questions are constructed within this clinical environment. Methods We examined 28 naturally occurring initial assessments, with particular attention to how practitioners used questions in their communication with children and young people. We utilised conversation analysis to examine the data. Results Analysis revealed a particular type of question preface used to reintroduce a prior topic. This was achieved through the use of ‘you said x’ as a foundation for asking a follow-up question and demonstrated active listening. Conclusions Arguably, this approach is a useful way of gathering assessment-relevant information in a child-centred way.
    • The risk of secondary traumatic stress in the qualitative transcription process: A research note.

      Kiyimba, Nikki; O’Reilly, Michelle; University of Chester; University of Leicester (SAGE, 2015-04-20)
      It is recognised that transcribing is not merely a neutral and mechanical process, but is active and requires careful engagement with the qualitative data. Whether the researcher transcribes their own data or employs professional transcriptionists the process requires repeated listening to participants’ personal narratives. This repetition has a cumulative effect on the transcriptionist and hearing the participants’ personal narratives of a sensitive or distressing nature, can have an emotional impact. However, this potential emotional impact is often not something which is accounted for in the planning stages of research. In this article we critically discuss the importance of considering the effects on transcriptionists who engage with qualitative data.
    • “This is a question we have to ask everyone”: asking young people about self-harm and suicide

      O’Reilly, Michelle; Kiyimba, Nikki; Karim, Khalid; University of Chester; Leicester University (Wiley, 2016-08-08)
      Introduction: Questions about self-harm and suicide are essential in risk assessments with children and young people, yet little is known about how mental health practitioners do this. Aim: The core aim was to examine how questions about self-harm and suicidal ideation are asked in real-world practice. Method: A qualitative design was employed to analyse 28 video-recorded naturally occurring mental health assessments in a child and adolescent mental health service. Data were analysed using conversation analysis (CA). Results: In 13 cases young people were asked about self-harm and suicide, but 15 were not. Analysis revealed how practitioners asked these questions. Two main styles were revealed. First was an incremental approach, beginning with inquiries about emotions and behaviours, building to asking about self-harm and suicidal intent. Second was to externalize the question as being required by outside agencies. Discussion: The study concluded that the design of risk questions to young people had implications for how open they were to engaging with the practitioner. Implications for practice: The study has implications for training and practice for psychiatric nurses and other mental health practitioners in feeling more confident in communicating with young people about self-harm and suicidal ideation.