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 [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Registered users only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (475kB)


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: 08 Jan 2018 18:13
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/22750

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View