Daisy McInnerney

Research Interests

Emotional disclosure, particularly in the form of expressive writing, is a simple and low cost therapeutic intervention that has been shown to produce physical and psychological health benefits in clinical populations. Whilst some studies have assessed the use of expressive writing in a palliative care setting, the interventions tested were not tailored for the specific needs of patients with progressive advanced chronic diseases (PACD). Related to the use of emotional disclosure as a therapy are the 'high profile' bloggers, vloggers and online forum participants, who use online platforms to document their experience of a PACD as a form of coping with their diagnosis. With this background in mind, this PhD project aims to develop and investigate various methods of emotional disclosure as a therapeutic intervention to enhance psychological and physical well-being of patients and family carers specifically within the palliative care setting. The project is planned to be split into a number of key stages:

Stage 1: Evidence synthesis phase and survey of psychological support services to explore the appropriateness and feasibility of emotional disclosure from the perspectives of people with PACD and their family carers, and inform intervention development.

Stage 2: Developing the intervention based on the findings of phase 1, and through a series of workshops with patients, family carers, and health and social care professionals to tailor optimum timings, formats, settings and delivery of the intervention.

Stage 3: Evaluating the intervention via an exploratory study testing the feasibility and acceptability of emotional disclosure for people with PACD and family carers, examining elements such as numbers of eligible patients and carers, recruitment rate, loss to follow-up and adherence. This will also inform acceptability of outcome measures, which will likely capture aspects of well-being, pain, sleep, anxiety and mood.

Stage 4: Qualitative enquiry via a series of semi-structured interviews to explore patients' and family carers' experiences of completing at emotional disclosure intervention, which will then be used to modify and improve the intervention further.

This mixed-methods project commenced in October 2018 and is co-funded by the ESRC UBEL-DTP and Marie Curie. Daisy is supervised by Prof. Paddy Stone (primary supervisor), Dr Bridget Candy (secondary supervisor) and Dr Nuriye Kupeli (secondary supervisor).

Links to associated labs, centres and facilities

Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department

UBEL Doctoral Training Partnership