An examination of the psychiatric experiences of patients diagnosed with functional somatic syndrome within the National Health Service: A qualitative study.
D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Introduction: Research has indicated that patients diagnosed with Functional Somatic Syndromes (FSS) perceive that they are stigmatised by this diagnosis. To date, much of the research literature has shown that patients diagnosed with this condition report public experiences of stigma and experiences of stigma in primary care. Therefore it is of interest to investigate the experiences of FSS patients who access mental health services.
Objectives: To determine how patients with a diagnosis of FSS perceive their experiences of Liaison Psychiatry
Design: Three female FSS patients were recruited from Community Liaison Psychiatry Departments. A series of semi-structured, open-ended interviews were used. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
Results: Five super-ordinate themes emerged: Pathways to Liaison Psychiatry, referral to Liaison Psychiatry, stigma, the importance of knowledge and the benefits of Liaison Psychiatry.
Discussion: The participants stated that they had benefited from a referral to Liaison Psychiatry; however, stigma experiences were evident in the participant’s narratives in the form of public and professional stigma.
Conclusion: This study discusses the implications for the treatment and care of FSS patients and provides directions for future research.
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