Missing voices: thickening research narratives

Mhairi Thurston, Nichola Blunden

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    Background/context:What does the literature say about the mental health of people with a vision impairment and the impact of counselling? Five electronic databases were searched in October 2021. The databases included CINAHL, Scopus, PsycArticles, PubMed and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Studies that fitted the inclusion criteria were screened. A narrative synthesis of studies and the associations between vision impairment, mental health and counselling was completed. The authors observed methodological hierarchies. The voices of blind people were missing in most studies.

    Questions/issues to consider in the session:The findings prompted the following observations:
    •A thin narrative – publications in Ophthalmology journals cited other publications in Ophthalmology journals.
    •Did the thin narrative lead to a medicalised interpretation of sight loss and mental health?
    •What evidence was being missed out? 
    Pluralistic research perspective could be useful (Smith, K., McLeod, J., Blunden, N., Cooper, M., Gabriel, L., Kupfer, C., McLeod, J., Murphie, M-C., Oddli, H. W., Thurston, M., & Winter, L. A. (2021). A pluralistic perspective on research in psychotherapy: harnessing passion, difference and dialogue to promote justice and relevance. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, [742676]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.742676 )
    Discussion will be welcomed about how thin narratives are perpetuated in research and how interventions are “done to” rather than “done with” marginalised groups.

    The following delegates may find this session of interest:
    •Anyone who is interested in research evidence and social justice
    •Counsellors who are interested in better understanding the association between sight loss and mental health.
    •Researchers who are interested in co construction with marginalised client groups.

    Learning objectives
    This session will help you:
    •Understand current evidence about the association between sight loss and mental health
    •Become familiar with the types of psychological interventions found in the evidence and the limitations associated with this
    •Consider the importance of giving clients a voice in the design of interventions aimed at “helping” them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2022
    Event28th Annual BACP Research Conference: Striving for equality, diversity and inclusion in research, practice and policy - Dundee, United Kingdom
    Duration: 19 May 202220 May 2022
    Conference number: 28th


    Conference28th Annual BACP Research Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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