Pointers needed for a degree essay

Discussion in 'Researchers, students and professionals' started by mindspace, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. mindspace

    mindspace Registered User


    I'm a first year mature student at Brighton university and I have an essay to write in which I have to analyse how cultural, social and personal circumstances affect health behaviour, health outcomes, and the experience of illness in relation to Alzheimer’s disease.

    As the post title suggests, I'd appreciate some pointers. Ideally, the best material for me to look at to assess the above would be some sort of narrative accounts written by carers (or sufferers but I appreciate that may be difficult). I'm hoping I can find some on this forum but can anyone suggest any other resources?

    Many thanks in advance

  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Adam

    your best route is to do what you have already done, post here - you might wish to expand on why this subject has been chosen, any personal family history of someone with dementia. what is the course you are doing, etc

    Then if members wish to help directly, they can send you a private message to introduce themselves.

    You should only use information that is communicated in this way, from someone who understands what you are doing, and agrees to help.

    best wishes.
  3. mindspace

    mindspace Registered User

    OK, fair point Brucie.

    The degree I am doing is BA in Applied Psychology and Sociology and the module for which I am writing this essay is called The Social Context of Health.

    I picked Alzheimer's because my granddad suffered from dementia leading up to his death a few years ago so I have a little personal experience there. Also my mother-in-law is the care manager at a home in Brighton so was able to supply me with lots of information on dementia and its related causes such as AD.

    The Social Context of Health module looks beyond simplistic medical explanations for health outcomes and looks at sociological and psychological factors that are invloved. This is why it's important to look at things such as narrative as you can find things that a simple medical diagnosis or medical texts on dementia would exclude.

    If anyone would like a chat about their experiences (either on or off the record) either respond to this thread or PM me.

  4. Margy

    Margy Registered User

    Jan 11, 2008
    North East England
    Social aspects

    Hi Adam

    I am a second year mature student researching the social environment of individuals with dementia and even though I had worked in many different areas as an agency nurse I learned so much by my research and wide reading over the last year.

    I would recommend to you the work of Steven Sabat and American psychologist. It is enlightening.

    Best wishes
  5. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Dear Adam,

    It occurs to me that you might find it helpful to formulate some sort of questionnaire.

    Narrative accounts are difficult for people to do without some guidance on what you are looking for. A (brief!) questionnaire, with a request to add anything further that the contributor thinks of importance, might be useful.

    Also, check with the Moderators, but I think once something is posted on TP, you can use it in an essay as it is no longer private property. Not sure about this though, so please DON'T just do it without checking!

    I'm sure that if you use any quotes you will be sensitive enough not to give any identifying information as to their authors.
  6. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006

    Where possible it would be polite and ethical to ask the writer(s) for their permission to quote them.

    I also agree that a questionnaire of some sort would be the best way to elicit the information you require.

    I am studying for an OU degree in Health and Social Care and after completing the equivalent of half of the first year of a degree I have 'jumped' and am now studying for the equivalent of half of the second year of a degree, so do understand something about the work that is involved!
  7. nursetutor

    nursetutor Registered User

    Nov 11, 2007
    North West
    Ethical considerations

    Hi .. this is an excellent thing you are doing and you need to be applauded at making full use of available resources. However, there are ethical routes any researcher AND student needs to abide by before contact anyone for research purposes - this is espacially important for the protection of vulnerable groups. You will need to contact your research governance committee at your university BEFORE you proceed with this. These steps exist to protect the public from harm. It seems a simple thing to do - to communicate with someone or ask for questionnsire completion in a quest for knowledge, but these steps have been put into place for a reason. May I suggest that you contact your University Ethics Governance Department for advice on this matter before porceeding any further. Sorry to be a pain in pointing this out. I wish you the very best with your studies and if I can be of any help please do not hesitate to ask. Best wishes.
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Thank you for your post, nursetutor.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.