A Qualitative Study Into Mental Health Tutors’ Experiences and Perceptions of Women and Self Harm.

Vincent, Hayley (2009) A Qualitative Study Into Mental Health Tutors’ Experiences and Perceptions of Women and Self Harm. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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The aim of this research study was to explore mental health nursing tutors’ perceptions and experiences of issues surrounding women and self-harm. Between 0.4% and 2% of the population in the UK reports engaging in self-harm and it is thought that 80% of those are female.

A review of the literature revealed reports from professionals of feeling largely unprepared and uncertain about dealing with women who self-harm. Perhaps as a result, many women who self-harm report poor healthcare treatment and negative attitudes from healthcare professionals. Despite the negative attitudes which prevail around self-harm, the literature yielded a consideration by some authors of a functionalist understanding of self-harm, taking account of the meaning self-harm may have for the women who engage in it and the role it may play in people’s lives.

A phenomenological and interpretative methodology was used, involving one-to-one semi-structured interviews with mental health nursing tutors at one University Department in the UK. Participation was on a voluntary basis and six tutors participated, three of which were female and three male.

The tutors spoke at length about their experiences with women who self-harm and thematic analysis revealed five themes from the data collected during the interviews – the reasons women self-harm; the stigma surrounding self-harm; attitudes towards women who self-harm within healthcare services; treatment of women who self-harm and issues in working with women who self-harm as a professional.

Much of what the tutors’ spoke about supported the current literature on the topic of self-harm. In addition to which, the tutors raised issues which have not received previous consideration in the literature. The most notable of these were the topic of student nurses who self-harm and the issues faced by both them and the tutors who are involved in their education, discussion on the issue of whether self-harm needs more consideration within the education of nurses and the suggestion that attitudes towards women who self-harm within healthcare services are gradually becoming more positive.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2009 10:03
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 08:17
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/22750

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