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Experiences of the transition from a "delusional" to a "non-delusional" state of mind: a research project employing an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Doughty, O; (2011) Experiences of the transition from a "delusional" to a "non-delusional" state of mind: a research project employing an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis is an exploration of the symptom of delusions and the factors that are deemed important in determining their outcome. The thesis consists of three parts. Firstly, I present a systematic literature review concerning the factors that have been found to be predictive of outcome in people who experience delusions as part of psychosis. This review covers 47 studies, the majority of which employ quantitative methodology. Holding a diagnosis of schizophrenia and the presence of other positive symptoms were found to be strongly predictive factors. The influence of social factors as opposed to phenomenological and clinical factors in predicting outcome was also emphasised. Secondly, I present a qualitative study of the experiences of 10 participants who described themselves as being "recovered" from their delusions. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach is taken and 17 themes were identified as representative of the groups' shared experiences. The themes converged with previous literature in emphasising that recovery is a process which impacts upon mood, self-identity and social relationships; that isolation maintains distress and that occupation seems to promote recovery: that interactions with others are valued but also difficult; and that recovery entails loss but also reinvention, growth, enlightment and pride. It was concluded that clinicians should facilitate the appraisals of those in recovery as accomplishments and self-development and focus on individualised recovery plans. Thirdly, the final part of the thesis is a critical appraisal of the empirical study and focuses on the issues involved in judging whether qualitative research is of good quality and has good validity.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Experiences of the transition from a "delusional" to a "non-delusional" state of mind: a research project employing an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
Language:English

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