Medically unexplained symptoms in children : systemic perspectives and interventions

Burchill, Stephanie Roanne Sarah

Clinical psychology
June 2016

Thesis or dissertation

© 2016 Stephanie Roanne Sarah Burchill. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This thesis portfolio is comprised of three parts:

Part One – Systematic Literature Review

The systematic literature review explored the efficacy of psychological family interventions for children with functional gastrointestinal pain. A systematic search of electronic databases identified eight studies to be reviewed. A narrative synthesis of the findings relating to effectiveness is presented alongside a review of methodological quality of each research paper. Conclusions regarding efficacy are made, in addition to a discussion of the clinical implications and areas for future research.

Part Two – Empirical Paper

The empirical paper comprises a qualitative exploration of teachers’ beliefs regarding medically unexplained symptoms in children and the role of families in relation to these difficulties. The study utilized Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four superordinate and 11 subordinate themes were identified. Themes provide an insight into how teachers understand MUS within their professional role, how they understand MUS in the children and families they work with and how teachers understand their own role in respect to these difficulties. The findings are discussed in relation to existing theory, alongside the implications of the findings and recommendations for future research.

Part Three – Appendices

The appendices include supporting documentation relevant to the Systematic Literature Review and the Empirical Paper, along with an epistemological statement and a reflective statement.

Department of Psychological Health and Wellbeing, The University of Hull
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