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Title: Research portfolio submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Author: Bennert, Kristina
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 2638
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2017
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Service Improvement Project. Background: There is growing recognition of the potential of e-mental health to contribute to the delivery of mental health services. There are strong moral, political and health-economic arguments for involving service users in the development of mental health services. Aims: This paper describes a Service Improvement Project carried out within a Community Mental Health Service to bridge the gap between availability of online psychological resources and service users’ information needs about psychological support. Iterative development of a facilitative gateway - the ‘Online Roadmap of Psychological Support’ was carried out in collaboration with service users and other stakeholders. Methods: Development proceeded in three phases: (1) stakeholder consultation (2) feasibility study, including assessment of service user information needs and preferences; (3) discussion of findings to generate ideas for implementation and evaluation. Methods of data collection included informal interviews, focus groups and a postal survey. Results: Recommendations for the Online Roadmap were shared with key decision-makers and guided implementation as part of wider website redesign. The new service website provides accessible information about psychological support alongside service user narratives and hyperlinks to external psychological resources covering a range of mental health difficulties. Conclusion: The project illustrates how mental health services can harness the potential of e-mental health to meet service users’ information needs regarding psychological support within their local services and beyond. The discussion reflects on possible tensions between the constraints of statutory mental health services and the empowerment of service users as experts-by-experience. Systematic Literature Review. Background: Around 8% of men are estimated to experience childhood sexual abuse (CSA), but less is known about the male survivors’ experiences compared to females. Over the past two decades, a small stream of qualitative studies has started to explore men’s experiences of disclosing CSA in adulthood, but most studies are based on small and selective samples. Methods: Meta-synthesis provides a method for combining findings from original qualitative research to generate new understandings of a phenomenon that is greater than the sum of its parts. This paper article presents a systematic review and meta-synthesis of peer-reviewed qualitative research on men’s experiences of disclosing childhood sexual abuse in adulthood. Systematic searches were conducted on six databases and 927 abstracts retrieved for screening. Results: 20 studies, published from 1996-2016, were included in the review. Studies examined barriers and facilitators of disclosure and the impact of disclosure and non-disclosure in adulthood. Meta-synthesis of first- and second-order themes resulted in third-order constructs that suggest an understanding of (non-)disclosure as a communicative acts which constitutes a discursive re-positioning within a contested space characterised by competing discourses on masculinity, generational and gender roles and relationships. Conclusions: Limitations of the meta-synthesis and directions for future research are discussed. Main Research Project. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) have been found to experience higher levels of paranoia than the general population. However, cognitive mechanisms involved in its development and maintenance may differ from those suggested for typically developed individuals with persecutory ideation. A reasoning bias in the form of reduced data-gathering (‘jumping-to-conclusions’, or JTC bias) has been proposed as a contributory factor for paranoia in people with psychosis and non-clinical populations. Data-gathering style was investigated in 39 adults with ASC and 64 typically developed controls using two probabilistic reasoning tasks: the beads task and an emotionally salient equivalent. Despite higher levels of paranoia, the ASC group requested more information and were less likely to show a JTC bias than the typically develop group. Results suggest that data-gathering style may not be a contributory factor for paranoia in autism, consistent with the proposal of a differential cognitive structure of paranoia in individuals with ASC.
Supervisor: Gregory, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available