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Title: Women's experiences of vulvodynia : a meta-ethnography of existing literature and an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the journey towards diagnosis
Author: Shallcross, Rebekah
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2015
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Vulvodynia is a common idiopathic pain experienced by women, in the external female genitalia (or vulval) area. Despite being encountered by around 16% of women, research relating to vulvodynia is limited. This thesis focuses on qualitative research pertaining to women’s experiences of vulvodynia, with particular attention paid to any psychological sequelae. The thesis is comprised of two papers; the first paper is written in preparation for submission to Archives of Sexual Behaviour and the second paper for submission to Qualitative Research in Psychology. Paper 1 uses systematic search strategies and meta-ethnography in order to identify, analyse and summarise the existing qualitative literature pertaining to any aspect of women’s experiences of vulvodynia. Reciprocal and refutational analysis of the papers is used to draw together the key findings of the papers, comparing and contrasting in order to develop a line of argument, moving beyond the sum of the parts of the original texts and providing fresh interpretation for the reader. The line of argument is considered in relation to the clinical implications for women with vulvodynia and potential future research is discussed. Paper 2 uses Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) in order to conduct original research aimed at exploring women’s experiences of their journey towards a diagnosis of vulvodynia, addressing a gap in the research identified by the literature review. In line with IPA methodology, the researcher adopts a critical realist position in order to understand the experiences of women with vulvodynia within the context of the healthcare system, itself set within the wider societal context. The findings are summarised into three over-arching master themes, which are further discussed in relation to existing research while also considering clinical implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: BF Psychology