Making a Difference. A study examining the experience of doctors working in A & E in treating people who present with self-mutilation

Prof Doc Thesis

Perry, Kate 2005. Making a Difference. A study examining the experience of doctors working in A & E in treating people who present with self-mutilation. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsPerry, Kate
TypeProf Doc Thesis

In this thesis I present the results of a grounded theory analysis of the
experiences of doctors working in Accident & Emergency (A&E) in treating
people who self-mutilate.
An overview of the literature examines the different terminologies used and the
different meanings and explanations for self-mutilation which are held by the
public, medical professionals and those working in the field of mental health, as
well as those who self-mutilate, all of which overlap and influence one another. In
this context I examine the limited literature investigating health professionals'
responses to self-mutilation. Negative attitudes and emotional responses are
often reported. The present study sought to investigate the specific experiences
of junior doctors working in an inner-London A&E. Eight participants were
interviewed to produce rich data which was analysed using grounded theory
methodology, in order to provide an in-depth understanding of their experiences.
The analysis highlighted the significance of working in the social context of A&E,
and of perceptions of the role of doctor, both of which influenced participants'
experiences in every aspect of their work. In particular participants reported
wanting to 'make a difference' which was generally seen as having a positive
impact upon health outcome. Participants generally believed that they could not
'make a difference' when treating patients who had self-mutilated, except in the
unusual instance where they felt that they had been able to engage the patient.
This experience had a negative impact on their emotional response to this patient
group and the degree to which they felt rewarded.
The findings are discussed in relation to the literature and a critical review of the
study is presented. Implications of the study are outlined, which include
recommendations for further training and for service provision.

KeywordsA&E; Accident and Emergency Departments; self-harm
Publication dates
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Jul 2014
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This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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