Experiencing psychological formulation: a qualitative study of service user perspectives

Evans, Carys (2020) Experiencing psychological formulation: a qualitative study of service user perspectives. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Context: Formulation is considered a core skill for clinical psychologists (Division of Clinical Psychology, 2011) and is a central component in most therapeutic approaches. There is no universally agreed definition of formulation, and the purpose and use varies depending on the theoretical perspective taken. The definition used in the Division of Clinical Psychology Good Practice Guidelines (2011) is ‘formulation summarises and integrates a broad range of biopsychosocial causal factors. It is based on personal meaning and constructed collaboratively with service users and teams’. There is debate around the validity and reliability of formulation as an intervention; however, an alternative recommended way to explore formulation is to understand its usefulness, particularly whether it is felt to be useful to the service user. To date, research into service user experience of formulation is lacking.

Aim: This thesis portfolio aimed to understand the service user perspective on, and experience of, psychological formulation and operationalise the factors that impact on this, with the hope that this knowledge will help to improve the overall experience of formulation.

Design: The project is presented in a thesis portfolio format combining two main research papers; the systematic review explored service user experience of formulation developed with a psychologist as part of the therapy process. The qualitative empirical paper used Thematic Analysis to explore formulation developed with member of the Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT), who has not been psychologically trained, as part of the care co-ordination role, within a community mental health service.

Results: The systematic review developed an initial four-phased process of formulation that service users progress through iteratively and in a non-linear fashion. The experience of each phase and overall formulation process were impacted by specific factors. The empirical paper identified six themes describing the service user experience of formulation with a non-psychologically trained member of the MDT and factors that impacted upon it.

Conclusion: Findings are provided tentatively, and further research is required to develop findings from both papers. However, the findings from this thesis portfolio add to the literature base around service user experience of formulation and identifies potential factors that may inform clinical practice and service delivery.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2020 13:06
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2020 13:06
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/77535


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