Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experience of receiving a diagnosis of bi-polar disorder
Author: Sandgaard Pallesen, Kasper
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
There is a significant gap in the literature in relation to the experience of receiving a psychiatric diagnosis and in particular, in relation to receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The present study therefore aimed to get an in-depth understanding of the experience of receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Specific areas of interest were participants’ subjective experience of receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, participants’ understanding of their diagnosis, participants’ experience of how well (or not) the diagnosis fitted their experiences, participants’ perceived consequences of having a diagnosis and any particularly helpful or unhelpful aspects in relation to the way the diagnosis was imparted. In collecting and analysing data, this study aimed to utilise a qualitative cross sectional design set within a social constructionist framework. Semi-structured interviews were carried out and transcripts were analysed using IPA (Smith & Osborn, 2003; Smith, 2007; Smith et al. 2009). A purposive sample of service users was used, in keeping with IPA requirements to have a small and fairly homogenous sample. The sample consisted of seven women and two men all of whom had received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder within the last year. The reported findings are based on the participants’ accounts of their experience of receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and the meaning they attach to this experience, as well as the researchers’ own interpretation of these accounts. In essence, the findings can be described in terms of three master themes: 1. ‘Establishing fit between the diagnosis and subjective experiences’, 2. ‘Evaluating the utility of carrying the diagnostic label’ and 3. ‘The role of diagnosis in searching for solutions for one’s difficulties’. While these results broadly support findings from previous studies, they differ in terms of the central position of the process of establishing fit between diagnosis and personal experiences and in terms of the relevance of perceived stigma for this particular group of participants. The study also highlights the importance of the role of the client-clinician relationship in terms of establishing fit and instilling hope which has implications for the acceptance of the diagnosis and engagement with services. Finally, further implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available