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Title: Feelings, circumstances, and hallucinations : a novel systematic review, theoretical, and empirical study
Author: Melvin, Katie
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 5173
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2020
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There is limited available research on the lived experience of hallucinations; with most existing research focusing on unimodal auditory hallucinations. Two systematic literature reviews suggested future research should study hallucinations across multiple modalities, their co-occurring feelings, and the circumstances and personal histories they arise within. To develop a conceptual lens, methodological approach, and research design to study these novel areas, theories of feelings (Cromby, 2007, 2015; Langer, 1967) and feeling-traps (Cromby & Harper, 2009; Scheff, 2012) were drawn upon alongside embodiment research scholarship (Ellingson, 2017; Reavey, 2011). Sixteen service-users from an NHS early intervention in psychosis service experiencing hallucinations most days, took part in a four-stage research design for up to eight weeks. This generated prospective and retrospective data on hallucinations arising in any modality through semi-structured interviews and arts-based methods of completing a visual diary with micro body-maps (for one week), an arts-based task and a visual life-timeline. This generated the first known body-maps of the feelings experienced during hallucinations. Participants reported unimodal and multi-modal hallucination experiences, which were characterised by a variety of feelings (emotional, extra-emotional, of knowing, of reality, generalised or localised within the body) and were situated in participants' unique lived circumstances and ongoing personal histories. The analysis demonstrated numerous novel aspects of circumstances in Britain were relevant to the lived experience of hallucinations including: time, location, company, activities, spirituality, digital technology, adverse and positive childhood experiences, education, work and employment, material (in)security and welfare, homelessness, drugs and alcohol, inequality and discrimination, and formal and informal networks of care. Future research and interventions aiming to reduce distress, may appropriately seek to prioritise improving the lived circumstances which people are struggling to navigate. Future hallucination research may also benefit from the application of feeling theories and the current research protocol which effectively generated a comprehensive dataset.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Thesis