We have just added the 1000th electronic thesis for the University of Leeds to White Rose Research Online. The theses are a mixture of those digitised from print (by the the Leeds Digital Library digitisation studio or the British Library's EThOS Service), plus new 'born-digital' etheses deposited by their authors.
The 1000th thesis is written by Helen Robinson from the Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences.
Robinson, Helen (2011) Action identification in chronic pain: how do people construct meaning in action? D.Clin.Psychol thesis, University of Leeds.
It is online at:
Congratulations to Helen who was the lucky winner of a £25 Amazon voucher. We asked Helen to tell us about her research and about what prompted her to deposit her ethesis in White Rose Etheses Online. Helen writes:
"My research supervisor and I wanted to apply Action Identification Theory (AIT) as a possible way of understanding how chronic pain interference relates to sense of meaning in life. Action Identification Theory holds that every action has different 'levels' of meaning. High levels confer greater meaning and are preferentially sought but when the action is interrupted lower level identities with reduced meaning are elicited. We therefore hypothesised that interference to action caused by chronic pain ‘down-regulates’ levels of action identification thus effectively draining meaning from life. To test this out we needed a measure of action identification level. We developed a new questionnaire and administered it to undergraduate and postgraduate students to ensure it had satisfactory internal consistency and test-re-test reliability. In the second stage of the research we administered our measure to chronic pain patients using a forced choice card-sort method. Patients also completed the Meaningful Life Measure and measures of pain intensity, pain interference, depression, withdrawal from activity, acceptance and optimism. As we expected, pain interference negatively correlated with meaning in life and action identification level positively correlated with meaning in life. However, interference and action identification were not significantly related to one another. Furthermore, they did not significantly contribute to variance in meaning in life when the effects of depression, acceptance and optimism were controlled for. We concluded that further work is necessary with a larger sample of chronic pain patients to reliably understand the process of action identification in chronic pain.
In completing my research I found White Rose Etheses a useful resource for quickly and easily searching for recent theses in the field of chronic pain. I found it helpful to consider the various different theoretical perspectives of other researchers when developing my own research questions. As my research was the first study of its kind insofar as applying action identification theory to chronic pain, I wanted to make it openly available to others in the hope that they may be encouraged to pursue this new direction for study."
We're confident that by depositing in WREO Helen has brought her thesis to a very wide audience and that this may indeed encourage others to 'pursue this new direction for study.'