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Title: Deliberate self-harm websites and social media platforms : an exploration of views from users and the voluntary sector
Author: McMullan, Julie Clare
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 8020
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2017
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Aim: As a major public health issue deliberate self-harm (DSH) is more common than suicide. Set in such a context the aim of this study was to explore the use of related DSH websites and social media platforms, seeking to gain insight into the perceptions and experiences of those who use such online platforms as well as UK agencies working with those engaged in this behaviour. Theoretical Perspective: The model chosen for this study was Nock and Prinstein’s (2004) ‘The Four Factor Model ofNon-Suicidal Self-Injury’. Method: The study was conducted in three stages. Stage 1: Walker and Avant’s (2005) concept analysis approach was used as a framework to explore the meaning of the concept ‘DSH’. Stage 2: Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with individuals in mental health voluntary agencies across the UK working with those who DSH. Stage 3: Fifteen interviews were completed with users of DSH websites and social media via face to face, telephone and desktop videoconferencing (typed chat). Findings: The concept analysis resulted in a new definition and understanding of DSH. Stage 2 and 3 interviews identified a significant difference between the knowledge of behaviour websites and social media of those working in voluntary agencies and that of the actual user’s. In addition participants acknowledged the inadequate support available to those over the age of forty. Conclusions: The study has provided an understanding of the motivation individuals have for accessing DSH websites and social media platforms. It has described how such sites support users in a manner which for them is not easily or readily found in the real world. The conclusions recommend improved training for health professional staff, for features to be included on DSH websites/social media appropriate for those aged 40 years plus and for the users themselves to be involved in the development of such sites.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available