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Title: Narrative coherence and late onset psychosis
Author: Viney, L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 6460
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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It is estimated that between 20-25% of people diagnosed with psychosis will have an initial onset after the age of 40 years (Harris & Jeste, 1988; Salzman & Tune, 2001); however, little is known about the experience of late onset psychosis and the recovery from this illness. This study therefore sought to explore the experience of late onset psychosis in a sample of adults aged 40 years or older living in London, England. Method: An inductive, qualitative approach, based on semi-structured interviews and Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was employed. Results: Participants described a long-standing sense of being ‘different’ to other people and a solitary coping style was utilised both before and during the onset of the psychotic episode. They described experiencing the psychotic episode as a confusing and disruptive experience which impacted upon their concept of self-identity, themselves in relation to other people and their ability to make sense of their experiences and to communicate these to others. They described recovery as a process with which they were still engaging, and many of the participants remained uncertain about their future. Discussion: It was concluded that the experience of late onset psychosis has a severe impact upon an individual’s life and the impact of the psychotic episode left them uncertain about their experiences, self and ability to think about the future. Whilst the uncertainty and disruption caused by the psychotic episode was experienced as an ‘impasse’ to the process of recovery, some participants found their experiences of engaging with mental health services gave them a new perspective on how to manage difficulties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available