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Title: The lived experience of occupational stress in NHS podiatrists
Author: Glover, Donna
ISNI:       0000 0001 3501 059X
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2008
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Occupational stress is acknowledged to be a common health issue for allied health care professionals. To date there have not been any studies which have investigated the lived experience of this phenomenon amongst practising NHS podiatrists. This study adopted a phenomenological approach to data generation following the philosophy of Hans Georg Gadamer (1975) and his concepts of fusion of horizons, a positive view of prejudices and the hermeneutic circle. The methods utilized included the use of individually constructed collages and semi-structured in-depth interviews. The sample consisted of ten randomly selected podiatrists working across five community health and social care partnerships in NHS Scotland. The data gave rise to two main themes: (1) the relationship between an individual’s autonomy and team working, and, (2) the patient-podiatrist relationship. Findings suggested that occupational stress can be the result of an imbalance between required and perceived levels of autonomy in practice and that this autonomy can be restricted due to team working or the patient podiatrist relationship. This has resulted in the proposal of a new definition of autonomy. The definition defines two elements: (1) Professional autonomy, or an individual’s control over the external factors that contribute to their professional work. (2) Clinical autonomy, defined as an individual’s freedom to make clinical decisions. Findings suggest that when experienced podiatrists’ expectations of being a professional are unmet that this contributes to the experience of stress. This research recommends that autonomy and professionalism for practitioners be considered in daily practice, and that such concepts be included as part of the undergraduate programme in order to better prepare students for the challenges faced in practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available