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Title: Making sense of intimacy and sexual health for people with exstrophy-epispadias complex conditions
Author: Anderson, Deborah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 1636
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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This doctoral thesis explores how people with exstrophy-epispadias complex (EEC) conditions (including bladder exstrophy) experience intimate relationships. It includes a literature review, a research paper, a critical review, and an ethics section. The literature review takes a critical look at the current conceptualisation of sexuality for people with EEC through critique of the current EEC literature. As such, it argues that this current conceptualisation lacks sufficient consideration for psychological and social factors. Relevant findings from within related health psychology research are used to demonstrate the need for these factors to be considered. Furthermore, it is suggested that a new conceptualisation of sexual health should be adopted in order to incorporate these factors into both research and clinical practice. Finally, the implications of this potential change are discussed with consideration for how potential barriers may be overcome. The research paper leads on from this argument by adopting a qualitative approach to exploring an important psychological element of sexual health. Previous findings have suggested that people with bladder exstrophy and other EEC conditions have difficulties establishing and maintaining intimate relationships with friends or romantic partners. An interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted with data from six participants with bladder exstrophy. Findings were described within three themes; 'exploring intimacy from a position of safety', 'the relationship between intimacy with the self and intimacy with others', and 'the magical value of intimacy: sharing the full story of bladder exstrophy'. Findings are discussed in relation to previous research and theory regarding concealment, body shame, and the development of identity, and clinical implications are presented. Finally, the critical review reflects on some of the key issues of relevance to carrying out this research. These include methodological issues related to analytical approach, homogeneity and data collection, and further reflection on the process of analysis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available