Student dissertation findings to be presented at BPS Health Psychology conference

Updated on: 26/07/2017

As part of Psychology student, Michael Swift’s final year of study, he has carried out research into "Self-management experience of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: a qualitative study of young adults’ perspectives".

The research forms Michael’s dissertation which contributes to his third and final year mark. Michael worked with lecturer in psychology at Newman University, Anatoli Karypidou to put his project together with the objective of exploring the self-management experiences and perspectives of young adults with Type 1 diabetes. An inductive qualitative approach was conducted with 7 participants aged 18-25 who were recruited via purposive snowball sampling. Self-constructed semi-structured interviews were used and thematic analysis of the data was applied following BPS and institutional ethical guidelines. 

Analysis revealed 5 notable themes; Daily Restriction: the restrictive nature of self-management on daily life. Coping Strategies: emotion-focused (denial) and problem focused-coping (organisation and time management) were used as a protective mechanism. Psycho-Emotional Well-Being: Anxiety, fear and frustration were collectively expressed by participants. Support: Multi-dimensional support networks such as social and health-care professional support were perceived necessary for self-management. Self-Development: Physical self-awareness and personal growth were identified as a positive outcome of self-managing Type 1 diabetes.

This allowed Michael to conclude that the research provided understanding of individuals’ self-management experiences, exploring management controls such as medication adherence and coping mechanisms; but further highlighted self-management upon the individuals’ social and psycho-emotional well-being. Suggesting necessity amendments for health-models regarding self- management of Type 1 diabetes; advocating further work to establish participant perceived restriction and psychosomatic health to provide a suited and informed client-centred interventions.

Michael will now be presenting his findings at the Division of Health Psychology (DHP) Annual conference, organised by the British Psychology Society (BPS) between 6th-8th September in Cardiff. Michael’s work will also be listed in the book of abstracts and BPS online proceedings following the DHP conference. Michael’s experience is a great accolade for a graduating student and demonstrates that Newman University continually encourages its students to go above and beyond the course programme requirements by conducting in-depth. 

Michael commented "Newman University has been an environment in which I was encouraged to grow not only by means of developing my knowledge of Psychology, Counselling and research skills but also through a sense of community, purpose and inclusion. Newman University has provided me with countless opportunities; inspired through promoting an academic environment in which not only practical but theoretical work could flourish.

The high level of personal support from my supervisor combined with the continually taught research skills allowed me to produce a thesis which has been accepted by one of the most competitive and prestigious psychological conferences in the UK. Furthermore, through continual guidance from the University and my supervisor, I am on track to publish my research within peer reviewed journals containing, but not limited to, Health and Clinical Psychology fields.

The amount of freedom and autonomy I was provided, allowed me to conduct research I felt passionate about. This ultimately led me to completing a successful and innovative piece of research that is not only being recognised within the Psychological community but has further aided my transition to postgraduate study and was truly gratifying to complete.

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