Staff Experiences of Using the Recovery Model in Forensic Settings With Patients With a Diagnosis of Personality Disorder

Prof Doc Thesis

Massey, E. 2021. Staff Experiences of Using the Recovery Model in Forensic Settings With Patients With a Diagnosis of Personality Disorder. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsMassey, E.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

‘Recovery’ has been described as a central plank within mental health policy, however, research has tended to focus on service users’ experiences and there is limited research looking at how staff experience recovery ideas. There are added challenges and barriers when ‘recovery’ ideas are applied to forensic settings for staff to contend with. The validity and reliability of personality disorder diagnoses has long been disputed and critiqued but remains a highly prevalent diagnosis within the forensic service user population. Research suggests that staff may treat individuals with a personality disorder diagnosis more negatively that other groups of service users, which has implications for their recovery. This research aimed to explore how staff in forensic services experienced using recovery ideas with individuals given a diagnosis of personality disorder.
Semi structured interviews were conducted with eight staff members from a variety of disciplines who worked in forensic settings. A Thematic Analysis of the data was conducted and four themes were identified; ‘Recovery; Is this what we do?’, ‘Connections; being part of something’, ‘Identity; where do we go from here?’ and ‘Working with systems; where the power lies’. A Thematic map was generated from the data.
The findings are discussed in relation to existing literature. Clinical implications are made including recognising the huge emotional impact this work has on staff and better supporting them, and the need to address systemic barriers that result in service users with a personality disorder diagnosis becoming ‘stuck’ in the system. Recommendations for future research are highlighted.

PublisherUniversity of East London
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Publication dates
Online30 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted24 Aug 2021
Deposited30 Nov 2021
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File access level: Anyone

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