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Experiences of disengagement from mental health services: an interpretative study

Wagstaff, Christopher (2016)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Whilst there is evidence of a range of effective treatments available for people with severe mental health problems (SMHP), people frequently disengage from mental health services (MHS). This thesis investigates experiences of disengagement of people with SMHP and comprises two studies: 1) semi-structured interviews to elicit the experiences of people with SMHP and a history of disengagement from MHS; and 2) building on those findings, focus groups with staff from assertive outreach teams (specialising in providing care for people with SMHP and a history of disengagement).

The participants were those perceived as the most disengaged from MHS yet they were willing to engage with the research. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to develop themes for individual participants and then across the participants. Disengagement from MHS was part of a wider experience of a limited connection to social structures, including an ambivalent and complex relationship with MHS. There was a sense of sadness in all aspects of the participants’ experience but they had developed strategies to reinforce personal resilience and to reassert personal identity.

The findings of this thesis can be employed to better understand the context of disengagement from MHS and consequently better inform future engagement with this client group.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Williams, Bob and Farrell, Derek and Wheeler, Herman and Graham, Hermine
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
Department:School of Health & Population Sciences, Department of Nursing
Subjects:BF Psychology
HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
RA Public aspects of medicine
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:6980
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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