• Communication and interpretation of emotional distress within the friendships of young Irish men prior to suicide: a qualitative study.

      Sweeney, Lorna; Owens, Christabel; Malone, Kevin; Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. (Health & social care in the community, 2014-10-16)
      The potential for young men in crisis to be supported by their lay networks is an important issue for suicide prevention, due to the under-utilisation of healthcare services by this population. Central to the provision of lay support is the capability of social networks to recognise and respond effectively to young men's psychological distress and suicide risk. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore young men's narratives of peer suicide, in order to identify how they interpreted and responded to behavioural changes and indications of distress from their friend before suicide. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted during 2009/10 with 15 Irish males (aged 19-30 years) who had experienced the death by suicide of a male friend in the preceding 5 years. The data were analysed using a thematic approach. Through the analysis of the participants' stories and experiences, we identified several features of young male friendships and social interactions that could be addressed to strengthen the support available to young men in crisis. These included the reluctance of young men to discuss emotional or personal issues within male friendships; the tendency to reveal worries and emotion only within the context of alcohol consumption; the tendency of friends to respond in a dismissive or disapproving way to communication of suicidal thoughts; the difficulty of knowing how to interpret a friend's inconsistent or ambiguous behaviour prior to suicide; and beliefs about the sort of person who takes their own life. Community-based suicide prevention initiatives must enhance the potential of young male social networks to support young men in crisis, through specific provisions for developing openness in communication and responsiveness, and improved education about suicide risk.
    • Design and development of a film-based intervention about teenage men and unintended pregnancy: Applying the Medical Research Council framework in practice.

      Aventin, Aine; Lohan, Maria; O'Halloran, Peter; Henderson, Marion (Evaluation and program planning, 2014-11-15)
      Following the UK Medical Research Council's (MRC) guidelines for the development and evaluation of complex interventions, this study aimed to design, develop and optimise an educational intervention about young men and unintended teenage pregnancy based around an interactive film. The process involved identification of the relevant evidence base, development of a theoretical understanding of the phenomenon of unintended teenage pregnancy in relation to young men, and exploratory mixed methods research. The result was an evidence-based, theory-informed, user-endorsed intervention designed to meet the much neglected pregnancy education needs of teenage men and intended to increase both boys' and girls' intentions to avoid an unplanned pregnancy during adolescence. In prioritising the development phase, this paper addresses a gap in the literature on the processes of research-informed intervention design. It illustrates the application of the MRC guidelines in practice while offering a critique and additional guidance to programme developers on the MRC prescribed processes of developing interventions. Key lessons learned were: (1) know and engage the target population and engage gatekeepers in addressing contextual complexities; (2) know the targeted behaviours and model a process of change; and (3) look beyond development to evaluation and implementation.
    • Evaluation of the Restorative Practice Programme of the Childhood Development Initiative

      Fives, A; Keenaghan, C; Canavan, J.,; Moran, L; Coen, L; UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway (Childhood Development Initiative, Dublin, 2013)
    • What's distressing about having type 1 diabetes? A qualitative study of young adults' perspectives

      Balfe, Myles; Doyle, Frank; Smith, Diarmuid; Sreenan, Seamus; Brugha, Ruairi; Hevey, David; Conroy, Ronan (2013-07-25)
      Abstract Background Diabetes distress is a general term that refers to the emotional burdens, anxieties, frustrations, stressors and worries that stem from managing a severe, complex condition like Type 1 diabetes. To date there has been limited research on diabetes-related distress in younger people with Type 1 diabetes. This qualitative study aimed to identify causes of diabetes distress in a sample of young adults with Type 1 diabetes. Methods Semi-structured interviews with 35 individuals with Type 1 diabetes (23–30 years of age). Results This study found diabetes related-distress to be common in a sample of young adults with Type 1 diabetes in the second phase of young adulthood (23–30 years of age). Diabetes distress was triggered by multiple factors, the most common of which were: self-consciousness/stigma, day-to-day diabetes management difficulties, having to fight the healthcare system, concerns about the future and apprehension about pregnancy. A number of factors appeared to moderate distress in this group, including having opportunities to talk to healthcare professionals, attending diabetes education programmes and joining peer support groups. Young adults felt that having opportunities to talk to healthcare professionals about diabetes distress should be a component of standard diabetes care. Conclusions Some aspects of living with diabetes frequently distress young adults with Type 1 diabetes who are in their twenties. Clinicians should facilitate young adults’ attendance at diabetes education programmes, provide them with opportunities to talk about their diabetes-related frustrations and difficulties and, where possible, assist in the development of peer-support networks for young adults with diabetes.