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The impact of anti-NMDAR encephalitis

Nicolle, Della 2017. The impact of anti-NMDAR encephalitis. ClinPsy Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis was completed by Della Nicolle for the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Cardiff University. The thesis is a systematic review and an interpretative phenomenological analysis investigating the impact of anti-NMDAR on cognitive functioning and identity respectively. This thesis was submitted on the 26th May 2017 and is comprised of a thesis abstract followed by three papers. Paper one has been prepared for submission to Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology and paper two for submission to Psychology & Health. Paper one presents a systematic review of current published neuropsychological case studies and series with people with a diagnosis of anti-NMDAR encephalitis. The review was conducted to investigate the emerging cognitive profile for people diagnosed with anti- NMDAR encephalitis. It assessed the quality of these studies using a quality assessment tool created for the purpose of the study. The neuropsychological results were synthesised and the results discussed narratively. A review revealed difficulties with memory, particularly verbal memory, executive functioning and attention/processing speed. Paper two is an interpretative phenomenological analysis of women with a diagnosis of anti-NMDAR encephalitis. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of women diagnosed with anti-NMDAR encephalitis and the phenomenon of identity change. Using a semi-structured interview the women were interviewed about their experience of having the illness, with a focus on impact on identity. These interviews were analysed for themes using the IPA method and four superordinate themes were discussed with direct quotes. Four superordinate themes were revealed ‘Re-finding the ‘normal’ self; ‘A ‘special’ identity’; ‘Evolving from the illness’ and ‘Revised roles. Analysis revealed themes common to many ! 2! severe physical illnesses such as, not feeling oneself and post-traumatic growth. However, themes emerged specific to anti-NMDAR such as feeling abnormal due to the rarity of the disease and its psychiatric symptoms, feeling viewed as special and concerns around fertility and motherhood. Paper three is a Commentary on the former two studies. This paper offers critical appraisal and reflection on the research process, the strengths and limitations of the papers and line of enquiry, as well as implications for further research, clinical practice and personal/professional development, and finally proposals for dissemination. The term ‘patients’ will be used within the systematic review because of its common usage in the target journals, however, it is recognised that its origins are from the medical perspective and other terms that are more person-centred could also be chosen.

Item Type: Thesis (DClinPsy)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 1 August 2017
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2021 09:51

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