Voices from the margins

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Doyle, Niamh
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University College Cork
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Empirical Study Abstract - Background: Against a tradition that has given preference to the ‘expert’ view of practitioners, a growing number of former service users have campaigned for mental health services to restore personal meaning to their mental health. Open Dialogue is an approach to mental health services that facilitates shared meaning-making among service users and professionals. Aims: This study investigated how individuals currently engaged in an Open Dialogue informed mental health clinic in Ireland made sense of their mental health. Method: Six individual semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Two superordinate themes and related subthemes are discussed: ‘The Context of Meaning-Making: Relationships and Conversations’ and ‘New Meanings’. Conclusions: The participants provided evocative accounts of meaning-making within an OD informed mental health service, drawing from experiences of non-dialogical services to make valuable comparisons. The narratives provide evidence to support OD as a humanising approach to mental health services, which facilitates, rather than imposes meaning, and may lead to relational and individualised narratives that reduce self-blame.
Systematic Review Abstract - Background: A father’s understanding, management and support of his partner through maternal postpartum depression (PPD) has implications for the mother’s recovery, the couple relationship and infant development. Aim: To systematically review qualitative research investigating fathers’ experiences of their partners’ PPD. Method: The following databases were searched from inception to October 2018: Academic Search Complete, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection, CINAHL and Maternity & Infant Care. Inclusion criteria were qualitative or mixed methodology, English language papers, and fathers as primary informants, whose partners had a current or previous diagnosis of PPD. Eight studies were included for thematic synthesis, with a combined sample size of 67. Overarching themes were: Understanding PPD; Relationships; Supporting a Partner with PPD; Burden of PPD; and Supporting Fathers. Conclusion: There has been limited research on this topic over the past two decades. Key limitations of studies include the prevalence of snowball sampling methods and lack of information about fathers’ previous mental health history. Findings point to fathers’ limited understanding of maternal PPD, a desire to be included in interventions, and a negative impact on fathers’ well-being and parenting capacity. There is a need for increased psychoeducation, father support, and partner-inclusive interventions
Open dialogue , Qualitative , Meaning-making
Doyle, N. 2019. Voices from the margins. DClinPsych Thesis, University College Cork.
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