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Title: Psychosocial barriers to accessing psychological services for junior doctors (JDs) : a grounded theory study
Author: Leverenz-Chan, Amanda
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 7735
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2013
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While there is extensive research on medical doctors and their mental health, little is known about the specific barriers which prevent them from accessing psychological services. Numerous studies have shown that rather than asking for help from other professionals such as counselling psychologists and therapists, doctors would rather turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their psychological distress. Junior Doctors (JDs) specifically are at particular risk of mental ill-health but feel prevented by their profession from seeking psychological treatment. Little research has been conducted on this particular subject area focusing specifically on JDs. This study readdresses the empirical evidence available for the issue and informs more clearly how counselling psychology and related professions can provide a more effective service to this client group. A constructivist grounded theory approach using eight participants allowed for a detailed examination of the participants’ subjective experiences of the research phenomenon and the generation of new theory on the barriers which prevent JDs from accessing psychological help. Of the eight participants, seven were from an Asian background and one was of Caucasian origin. Further, seven were male with the remaining one participant being female. A core category was uncovered from the analysis of the data which apply to the research participants: psychosocial barriers to accessing psychological services by JDs. This core category was informed by three main themes: 1) medical identity 2) the development of coping strategies in the British medical culture, and 3) the unacceptability of difference. This core category and its themes make up the grounded theory of the research. In light of the findings it may be suitable to adapt the usual process of therapy and negotiate a more appropriate method of delivering psychological support to reduce barriers and to promote credibility and effectiveness of counselling psychology among this client group.
Supervisor: Salm, Anne Marie ; Abrams, Erik Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Psych.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: psychosocial barriers ; junior doctors ; psychological services