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Title: The impact of visualisation on psychological outcomes
Author: Malgorzata, Heinrich
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 1955
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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Background: Existing evidence examining the effects of image based interventions provides contrasting findings in terms of the impact of visual stimuli on illness cognitions, motivation and behaviour. Aims: This thesis aimed to explore the impact of a variety of visual stimuli of a general and personalised nature on healthy participants' and patients' outcomes such as illness cognitions, affect, pain and behavioural intentions. Method: The thesis consists of 5 randomised controlled trials and 1 qualitative interview study. Study 1 assessed the impact of generalised visual imagery of student's perceptions of their moles in the context of skin cancer. Studies 2 and 3 examined the impact of different post operative dressings, which offered different visual information about the wound on patients' cognitions in the context of laparoscopic surgery. Study 4 assessed the impact of viewing the screen during a hysteroscopy procedure on patient outcomes. Study 6 explored the impact of viewing retinal images during screening for the effects of diabetes. Study 6 involved an exploration of how patients experienced seeing images of their retina. Results: The results of Study 1 indicated that generalised visual information about moles had no impact upon participants' outcomes. Studies 2 and 3 indicated that personally relevant visual information, in the form of post-operative dressings, altered patients' illness cognitions, mood, pain and recovery from laparoscopic surgery. Study 4 indicated that viewing hysteroscopy on a screen was detrimental for patients' mood, beliefs about treatment effectiveness and doctor-patient communication; however it also provided patients with reassurance and engaged them on an intellectual level. The findings of Study 5 indicated that viewing retinal images improved patients understanding about the link between diabetes and eye health but by the same token evoked defensive tactics and beliefs preventing patients taking control of their illness. Study 6 indicated that retinal images were beneficial in their facilitating role in doctor-patient communication and positively impacted upon patients' mood but also presented a challenge to the way patients evaluated the information conveyed by the images. Conclusions: The findings illustrated that generalised visual images have no effect on illness perceptions; however personalised, visual information has been identified as an important factor of the patient experience. The role of visual cues available in medical settings should be considered in clinical decisions due to their ability to affect patients' psychological wellbeing and recovery from surgery.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available