Now showing 1 - 10 of 51
  • Publication
    The perceived impact of interprofessional information sharing on young people about their sexual health care
    This paper presents the results from an analysis of data from service-providers and young adults who were formerly in state care about how information about the sexual health of young people in state care (YPISC) is managed. In particular, the analysis focuses on the perceived impact of information sharing between professionals on young people. Twenty two service-providers from a range of professions including social work, nursing and psychology, and 19 young people aged 18-22 years who were formerly in state care participated in the study. A qualitative approach was employed in which participants were interviewed in depth and data were analysed using modified analytical induction (Bogdan & Biklen 2007). Findings suggest that within the care system in which service provider participants worked, it was standard practice that sensitive information about a young person’s sexual health would be shared across team members, even where there appeared to be no child protection issues. However, the accounts of the young people indicated that they experienced the sharing of information in this way as an invasion of their privacy. An unintended outcome of a high level of information-sharing within teams is that the privacy of the young person in care is compromised in a way that is not likely to arise in the case of young people who are not in care. This may deter young people from availing themselves of the sexual health services.
  • Publication
    Hormone therapy and the medical encounter:  a qualitative analysis of women's experiences
    Objective: The aim of this article was to explore women's experiences in biomedical consultations for menopause symptoms, with a particular focus on how hormone therapy (HT) featured during the encounter. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 39 women, and data were analyzed using a qualitative strategy referred to as Thematic Networks. Results: Several participants whose menopause started before the period of the HT "scares" described being "put on" HT as a matter of course, even when their symptoms were mild. By contrast, some of those presenting in the more recent time period with what they deemed to be severe symptoms were more likely to describe scenarios whereby they pressured their physicians for an HT prescription. Once on HT, participants were found to be far from passive recipients of a biomedical "treatment" but rather embarked on an active dialogue with themselves about how to manage the distressing aspects of menopause. Conclusions: Using HT did not tend to spell a transition to biomedical advocacy, despite its reported effectiveness in moderating bodily distresses. Rather, HT tended to retain a tentative status as a temporary relief and not a long-term panacea.
      352Scopus© Citations 9
  • Publication
    The politics of heterosexuality - a missing discourse in cancer nursing literature on sexuality: a discussion paper
    (Elsevier, 2007-02)
    In this article, a critique of cancer nursing literature on the issue of sexuality is presented, with particular reference to literature on cancers common to women. The paper begins with an account of two competing perspectives on sexuality. The first is a version of sexuality rooted in sexology, underpinned by biomedical science that makes a claim to having identified 'normal' sexuality. The second is a version of sexuality developed within feminist scholarship that tends to reject biological determinism as a basis for understanding sexuality, instead favouring constructionist perspectives, with the socio-political context of sexual relations problematised. The focus of the article then shifts to cancer nursing literature on sexuality that deals primarily with cancers common to women, to appraise the extent to which either of the above perspectives on sexuality is invoked. Within this body of nursing knowledge, I argue that there has largely been an uncritical endorsement of biomedical constructions of sexuality, rooted in orthodox sexology, with a dominant focus on sexual functioning and on sexual rehabilitation for women with cancer. Moreover, in this knowledge base, phallocentric heterosexuality over and above other forms of sexual expression is privileged, and the socio-political context of unequal gender power relations is largely excluded. References to the social sphere as a dimension of nursing care are focused almost exclusively on maintaining normality, and reflect the emphasis on functional restoration. The largely individualistic, uncritical and biocentric emphasis in this literature may serve inadvertently to reinforce and maintain existing gender inequalities in heterosexual relationships. Finally, I consider the difficulties for oncology nurses in dealing with contradictory truth claims or conventional wisdoms about sexuality from the disparate disciplines of which holism is comprised.
      852Scopus© Citations 19
  • Publication
    The Academic Profession in Ireland
    This study examined the nature and extent of the changes experienced by the academic profession in Ireland in recent years. The report outlines current characteristics of the academic profession — those who teach and/or research — providing a profile of academics in Ireland. Three themes are investigated: the professional contexts of Irish academics, their teaching and research situations, and their experiences of governance and management within their institutions.
  • Publication
    The focus group method: insights from focus group interviews on sexual health with adolescents
    This article concerns the manner in which group interaction during focus groups impacted upon the data generated in a study of adolescent sexual health. Twenty-nine group interviews were conducted with secondary school pupils in Ireland, and data were subjected to a qualitative analysis. In exploring the relationship between method and theory generation, we begin by focusing on the ethnographic potential within group interviews. We propose that at times during the interviews, episodes of acting-out, or presenting a particular image in the presence of others, can be highly revealing in attempting to understand the normative rules embedded in the culture from which participants are drawn. However, we highlight a specific problem with distinguishing which parts of the group interview are a valid representation of group processes and which parts accurately reflect individuals' retrospective experiences of reality. We also note that at various points in the interview, focus groups have the potential to reveal participants' vulnerabilities. In addition, group members themselves can challenge one another on how aspects of their sub-culture are represented within the focus group, in a way that is normally beyond reach within individual interviews. The formation and composition of focus groups, particularly through the clustering of like-minded individuals, can affect the dominant views being expressed within specific groups. While focus groups have been noted to have an educational and transformative potential, we caution that they may also be a source of inaccurate information, placing participants at risk. Finally, the opportunities that focus groups offer in enabling researchers to cross-check the trustworthiness of data using a post-interview questionnaire are considered. We conclude by arguing that although far from flawless, focus groups are a valuable method for gathering data about health issues.
      2975Scopus© Citations 113
  • Publication
    Controlling response shift bias: The use of the retrospective pre-test design in the evaluation of a master's programme
    (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2008-11-15) ;
    Traditionally the measures used to evaluate the impact of an educational programme on student outcomes and the extent to which students change is a comparison of the student's pre‐test scores with his/her post‐test scores. However, this method of evaluating change may be problematic due to the confounding factor of response shift bias when student self‐reports of change are used. Response shift bias occurs when the student's internal frame of reference of the construct being measured, for example research ability or critical thinking, changes between the pre‐test and the post‐test due to the influence of the educational programme. To control for response shift bias the retrospective pre‐test method was used to evaluate the outcomes achieved from students completing a research module at master's level. The retrospective pre‐test method differs from the traditional pre‐test–post‐test design in that both post‐test and pre‐test perceptions of respondents are collected at the same time. The findings indicated that response shift bias was evident in that the programme had significantly greater impact on outcomes than identified using the traditional pre‐test–post‐test design leading to the conclusion that students may overestimate their ability at the commencement of an educational programme. The retrospective pre‐test design is not a replacement for the traditional pre‐test–post‐test measures but may be a useful adjunct in the evaluation of the impact of educational programmes on student outcomes.
      1497Scopus© Citations 123
  • Publication
    Sexual Health and Sexuality Education Needs Assessment of Young People in Care in Ireland (SENYPIC). The Perspectives of Foster Carers and Birth Parents: A Qualitative Analysis. Report No. 4
    (HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme and Child & Family Agency (Tusla), 2016-03) ; ; ; ;
    The report finds that fostering was largely a positive experience for foster carers, although experiences varied according to the young people involved. Foster carers were very aware that many YPIC had additional needs relating to emotional and social skills, and to address these needs they reported using family norms and household boundaries as a method of imparting social skills. The majority of foster carers engaged in a variety of approaches to RSE, and some reported use of covert references to sexual behaviour and use of humour when telling young people about the importance of safer-sex. What is particularly interesting about this report is that the indirect approaches to RSE delivered by foster carers mirrored those reported by parents of teenagers (not in care) who were interviewed for the 2009 research project 'Parents’ Approaches to Educating their Pre-adolescent and Adolescent Children about Sexuality'. What is clear from both reports is that parents and foster carers have additional supports and resource needs to support them in delivering RSE effectively to young people at-home, as current strategies were often indirect and not always effective.
  • Publication
    Sexuality as an aspect of nursing care for women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer in an Irish context
    (Elsevier, 2006-02) ;
    In this article, findings are presented from a study that aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of a sample of nurses in addressing sexuality as an aspect of care for women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. A sample of 10 oncology nurses was selected from oncology units at three hospitals in Ireland, and each participant was interviewed in depth. A qualitative strategy was employed to analyse data. Findings indicated that participants tended to construct sexuality in broad terms, and were well aware of the effects of chemotherapy on a person's sexuality. In addition, they considered sexuality education to be a legitimate and important aspect of their role. However, they also revealed that they avoided addressing sexuality with patients, or encountered structural obstacles in doing so. Some participants expressed anger and frustration when discussing barriers to incorporating sexuality into their practice. A strong theme in data was participants' perceptions that they were not adequately prepared in either pre-registration or post-registration programmes to incorporate sexuality as a dimension of patient care, although post-registration programmes were more likely to furnish them with knowledge about sexuality. Finally, participants' views on sexuality care are considered in the context of Irish culture which until recently was dominated by Catholic Church teachings.
      1490Scopus© Citations 41