In search of knowledge and understanding: working with individuals suffering from serious mental illness and their families

Stanner, Shirley (2004) In search of knowledge and understanding: working with individuals suffering from serious mental illness and their families. Masters thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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This research study describes a journey taken by ten health care professionals on an educational course, the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (ENB) A28, which aimed to enable them to develop the therapeutic skills and confidence to work effectively with the families/carers of individuals suffering from a major mental illness. Their previous education and training had not equipped them to meet the clinical demands now made of them since the focus of mental health care relocated from hospital to the • community' . The course was based in a Family Intervention Service provided in an Inner London Mental Health Trust whose clinicians had developed a treatment model which they termed 'psychosocial' and combined systemic theory. expressed emotion research findings and limited behavioural methods. Grounded Theory was the chosen research method for this study as it was important to be able to access the experience and views of each student as they emerged. The students were interviewed twice, using a semi-structured interview schedule: at the beginning of the course and within three months after its completion. The questions posed at interview were informed following a pilot study of eight of the previous year's students. The students concluded that three elements in the course teaching had most contributed to achieving their aims; theory, practice and live supervision. The role of management and its influence in the clinical life of the students emerged as important. Consequently eight managers were interviewed and revealed the degree to which they supported both the students and the aims of the course. On this depended whether the Trust's clinical services would be able to maximise the benefits from its investment in this educational resource. A retrospective study by questionnaire. and subsidiary to the main investigation. is reported on in Appendices A through F. It focussed on the experience of students who had successfully completed the course during the previous years since its validation. As in the main study. the questionnaire was formulated from information given following a pilot study of eight of the previous year's student group. The aim was to ascertain the long term effects on their clinical practice. The results were analysed using a descriptive analysis technique. Although there had been changes to the original course. the findings were similar to those in the main study and showed the importance of theoretical understanding and supervised practice. Overall. the findings indicate that the respondents valued the systemic approach which was the cornerstone of the educational experience and continued to exert an influence on their practice. They gained an awareness of the extent to which social and family systems impacted on the lives of individuals during the lengthy course of major mental illness.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 13604
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2014 09:59
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 02:33

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