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Title: The lived experience of a tic disorder : a qualitative exploration of phenomenology and positive psychological therapy outcomes
Author: Smith, Heather
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explored the experiences of individuals with a tic disorder, such as Tourette syndrome. It is presented in three papers; a literature review, an empirical study and a critical appraisal of the research with personal reflections. The literature review was a systematic review of published qualitative studies pertaining to individuals' lived experiences of a tic disorder, utilising a meta-synthesis approach. The findings of 10 studies were synthesised, and six overarching themes constructed. Often as a result of social and cultural challenges to understanding tics, the condition was found to have an enduring, negative presence across the lifespan. Tic disorders impacted on education, careers, healthcare and relationships. Many people exerted extensive efforts in controlling, managing and adapting their tics in order to integrate socially, yet the literature highlighted how such strategies could potentially maintain social stigma. The instrumental roles for support services, organisations, families and individuals to bring about change in cultural and social experience were highlighted. The empirical study was a qualitative investigation into seven young people's experiences of a successful or helpful talking therapy for their tics. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology elicited understanding and meaning through semi-structured interviews, and five super-ordinate themes emerged from the personal accounts participants shared. Themes included the challenging battle with tics and process of re-defining a self-identity; making sense of phenomenology; developing strategies to manage experience; the value and regaining of control and the broad-spectrum of positive change. The findings supported the existing literature, offered new insights and suggested recommendations to incorporate positively valued outcomes more explicitly into clinical practice and evaluation. The third paper was a critical appraisal on the process of conducting the research project. Interwoven throughout were personal reflections on the findings and process of each paper, with systematic evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of the methodological approach. The paper highlights implications for clinical practice and future research, in addition to learning and reflection on how the author has developed as both a researcher and a clinician.
Supervisor: Fox, John ; Trayner, Penelope Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available