Dr Janet Smithson
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category



Journal articles
Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, U., Smithson, J., Lewis, S. (2014). Focus group methodology in a life course approach - individual accounts within a peer cohort group. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 17(2), 157-171.
Lishman, E., Cheston, R., Smithson, J. (2014). The paradox of dementia: Changes in assimilation after receiving a diagnosis of dementia. Dementia (london).

Abstract:
The paradox of dementia: Changes in assimilation after receiving a diagnosis of dementia.

This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to explore how six people talked about their difficulties before and after a dementia diagnosis. Participants' accounts of their memory problems were analysed in terms of the verbal Markers of Assimilation of Problematic Voices Scale. This analysis indicated that after diagnosis some participants were able to integrate aspects of their illness that had previously been too painful, and which had been warded off. The process by which individuals were able to integrate a dementia diagnosis into their sense of self-involved stepping in and out of awareness, with both acceptance and denial featuring in their accounts as they approached and then retreated from addressing the diagnosis. In contrast, other participants resisted moving towards explicitly acknowledging their dementia but were instead able to express concerns about what this movement would entail, for instance voicing their fears that it would mean that they had surrendered. Social support seems to have been crucial in enabling participants to sustain a positive sense of self in the face of this adjustment.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Pedersen, S., Smithson, J. (2013). Mothers with attitude - how the Mumsnet parenting forum offers space for new forms of femininity to emerge online. Women's Studies International Forum, 97-106.
Owens, C., Sharkey, S., Smithson, J., Hewis, E., Emmens, T., Ford, T., Jones, R. (2012). Building an online community to promote communication and collaborative learning between health professionals and young people who self-harm: an exploratory study. Health Expect.

Abstract:
Building an online community to promote communication and collaborative learning between health professionals and young people who self-harm: an exploratory study.

BACKGROUND: Online communities are known to break down barriers between supposed experts and non-experts and to promote collaborative learning and 'radical trust' among members. Young people who self-harm report difficulties in communicating with health professionals, and vice versa. AIM: We sought to bring these two groups together online to see how well they could communicate with each other about self-harm and its management, and whether they could agree on what constituted safe and relevant advice. METHODS: We allocated 77 young people aged 16-25 with experience of self-harm and 18 recently/nearly qualified professionals in relevant health-care disciplines to three separate Internet discussion forums. The forums contained different proportions of professionals to young people (none; 25%; 50% respectively) to allow us to observe the effect of the professionals on online interaction. RESULTS: the young people were keen to share their lived experience of self-harm and its management with health professionals. They engaged in lively discussion and supported one another during emotional crises. Despite registering to take part, health professionals did not actively participate in the forums. Reported barriers included lack of confidence and concerns relating to workload, private-professional boundaries, role clarity, duty of care and accountability. In their absence, the young people built a vibrant lay community, supported by site moderators. CONCLUSIONS: Health professionals may not yet be ready to engage with young people who self-harm and to exchange knowledge and experience in an anonymous online setting. Further work is needed to understand and overcome their insecurities.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Smithson, J., Jones, R.B., Ashurst, E. (2012). Developing an online learning community for mental health professionals and service users: a discursive analysis. Bmc Medical Education, 12(1).
Barlow, A., Smithson, J. (2012). Is modern marriage a bargain? Exploring Perceptions of Pre-Nuptial Agreements in England and Wales. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 3(24), 304-319.
Smithson, J., Hennessey, C., Means, R. (2012). Online interaction and "real information flow": analysis of an interdisciplinary research forum. Journal of Research Practice, 1(8).
Sharkey, S., Smithson, J., Hewis, E., Jones, R., Emmens, T., Ford, T., Owens, C. (2012). Supportive interchanges and face-work as 'protective talk' in an online self-harm support forum. Communication and Medicine, 9(1), 71-82.
Smithson, J., Britten, N., Paterson, C., Lewith, G., Evans, M. (2012). The experience of using complementary therapies after a diagnosis of cancer: a qualitative synthesis. Health (london), 16(1), 19-39.

Abstract:
The experience of using complementary therapies after a diagnosis of cancer: a qualitative synthesis.

This article describes a qualitative synthesis of published research on cancer patients' experiences of complementary therapies. We conducted a systematic search for qualitative studies on this subject published between 1998 and 2007. Twenty-six refereed journal articles met the inclusion criteria. These 26 articles were repeatedly read by the research team and key concepts emerging from them were identified. Differences and variations were examined in association with treatment, therapy type and by stage of cancer (early stage, mid-treatment, advanced cancer, palliative care and long term 'survivors'). Six overarching concepts were located, which describe the key aspects of patients' experiences of the use of complementary and alternative medicine after a diagnosis of cancer: Connection; Control; Well-being; Transformation; Integration; and Polarization. These are described in a 'line of argument' synthesis, and differences associated with treatment type and stage of disease are noted. The findings are presented in a table showing the six concepts according to treatment type and stage; as a composite story; and in a diagrammatic model showing the individual, practitioner and organizational levels. The synthesis identified various specific ways in which complementary therapies supported cancer patients, as well as occasional negative effects. The most notable barrier was the perceived polarization of complementary therapies and biomedicine; patients reported better experiences in integrated settings.
 Abstract.  Author URL
den Dulk, L., Peper, A., Cernigoj Sadar, N., Lewis, S., Smithson, J., van Doorne-Huiskes, A. (2012). Work, family and managerial attitudes and practices in the European workplace: comparing Dutch, British and Slovenian financial sector managers. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State, and Society, 2(18), 300-329.
Smithson, J., Garside, R., Pearson, M. (2011). Barriers to, and facilitators of, the prevention of unintentional injury in children in the home: a systematic review and synthesis of qualitative research. Inj Prev, 17(2), 119-126.

Abstract:
Barriers to, and facilitators of, the prevention of unintentional injury in children in the home: a systematic review and synthesis of qualitative research.

This review considers barriers to, and facilitators of, success for interventions to reduce unintentional injury to children in the home through supply and/or installation of home safety equipment, and looks at risk assessments.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Sharkey, S., Jones, R., Smithson, J., Hewis, E., Emmens, T., Ford, T., Owens, C. (2011). Ethical practice in internet research involving vulnerable people: lessons from a self-harm discussion forum study (SharpTalk). J Med Ethics, 37(12), 752-758.

Abstract:
Ethical practice in internet research involving vulnerable people: lessons from a self-harm discussion forum study (SharpTalk).

The internet is widely used for health information and support, often by vulnerable people. Internet-based research raises both familiar and new ethical problems for researchers and ethics committees. While guidelines for internet-based research are available, it is unclear to what extent ethics committees use these. Experience of gaining research ethics approval for a UK study (SharpTalk), involving internet-based discussion groups with young people who self-harm and health professionals is described. During ethical review, unsurprisingly, concerns were raised about the vulnerability of potential participants. These were dominated by the issue of anonymity, which also affected participant safety and consent. These ethical problems are discussed, and our solutions, which included: participant usernames specific to the study, a closed website, private messaging facilities, a direct contact email to researchers, information about forum rules displayed on the website, a 'report' button for participants, links to online support, and a discussion room for forum moderators. This experience with SharpTalk suggests that an approach to ethics, which recognises the relational aspects of research with vulnerable people, is particularly useful for internet-based health research. The solutions presented here can act as guidance for researchers developing proposals and for ethics committees reviewing them.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Smithson, J., Sharkey, S., Hewis, E., Jones, R.B., Emmens, T., Ford, T., Owens, C. (2011). Membership and boundary maintenance on an online self-harm forum. Qual Health Res, 21(11), 1567-1575.

Abstract:
Membership and boundary maintenance on an online self-harm forum.

In this article we explore how young adults became members and sustained membership in an online self-harm support forum, SharpTalk. We take a discursive approach to consider resources young people used to establish themselves, how others responded to their attempts, and how membership categories were developed and applied. Participants displayed expectations about appropriate ways of discussing self-harm, and about responses and advice. New posters made reference to other self-harm sites, provided biomedicalized narratives of their "story," and asked for help in particular ways. Participants were active in shaping interactions on the forum, requesting input from site moderators, and challenging each other both on perceived infringements of posting content, and on style of posting pertinent to membership. On the SharpTalk site, perceived deviance in posting behavior, and also the giving of health care advice, were most commonly addressed by other young people who self-harmed, rather than by the site moderators. We consider implications for creating sites that enable young people who self-harm to become members and sustain membership, and therefore access support.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Jones, R., Sharkey, S., Ford, T., Emmens, T., Hewis, E., Smithson, J., Sheaves, B., Owens, C. (2011). Online discussion forums for young people who self-harm: User views. Psychiatrist, 35(10), 364-368.
Smithson, J., Sharkey, S., Hewis, E., Jones, R., Emmens, T., Ford, T., Owens, C. (2011). Problem presentation and responses on an online forum for young people who self-harm. Discourse Studies, 13(4), 487-501.
Jones, R., Sharkey, S., Smithson, J., Ford, T., Emmens, T., Hewis, E., Sheaves, B., Owens, C. (2011). Using metrics to describe the participative stances of members within discussion forums. J Med Internet Res, 13(1).

Abstract:
Using metrics to describe the participative stances of members within discussion forums.

Researchers using forums and online focus groups need to ensure they are safe and need tools to make best use of the data. We explored the use of metrics that would allow better forum management and more effective analysis of participant contributions.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Smithson, J., Paterson, C., Britten, N., Evans, M., Lewith, G. (2010). Cancer patients' experiences of using complementary therapies: polarization and integration. J Health Serv Res Policy, 15 Suppl 2, 54-61.

Abstract:
Cancer patients' experiences of using complementary therapies: polarization and integration.

The use of complementary therapies by people with cancer is commonplace. In a recent synthesis of 26 qualitative studies of patients' experiences of complementary therapy use after a diagnosis of cancer, the emergent theme of 'polarization' was the most notable barrier to a positive experience of complementary therapies. In this paper, we explore the two synthesis concepts of 'polarization' and 'integration', and their relationship to health service policies and guidelines on integrated services.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Barlow, A., Smithson, J. (2010). Legal assumptions, cohabitants’ talk and the rocky road to reform. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 3(22), 328-350.
Pedersen, S., Smithson, J. (2010). Membership and activity in an online parenting community. Handbook of Research on Discourse Behavior and Digital Communication: Language Structures and Social Interaction, 1, 88-103.
Sümer, S., Smithson, J., Das Dores Guerreiro, M., Granlund, L. (2008). Becoming working mothers: Reconciling work and family at three particular workplaces in Norway, the UK, and Portugal. Community, Work and Family, 11(4), 365-384.
Sullivan, C., Smithson, J. (2007). Perspectives of homeworkers and their partners on working flexibility and gender equity. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(3), 448-461. Author URL

Back | Top of page | Edit Profile | Refresh page