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Experiences of Hallucinations in Early Motherhood

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Experiences of Hallucinations in Early Motherhood



  • Contact name

    Charlotte Close

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Coventry University

  • Identifier

    P133347, Coventry University Ethics

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 5 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    It is well established that women with and without psychosis are vulnerable to experiencing hallucinations during the perinatal period (during their pregnancy and their baby’s first year of development). The aim of this qualitative study is to gain a better understanding of these hallucinatory experiences, specifically their content, meaning and influence on attachment/bonding relationships during early motherhood.

    An interpretive phenomenological research design will be employed, recruiting a purposive sample of participants (N=10) who satisfy the following inclusion criteria: mothers to at least one child (not still born), who experienced any form of hallucination (auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile and gustatory) in the perinatal period. Participants will not have had hallucinatory experiences within the past month, and it will have been less than 5 years since their last perinatal hallucinations. Participants will be excluded if they do not experience hallucinations (e.g. delusions or sleep disturbances) or if hallucinations are present with comorbid substance use and/or brain injury.

    This is a multi-site study: participants will be recruited from perinatal teams across the Midlands (Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT), Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT) and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust (HWHCT).

    Participants will be asked to take part in a one-to-one interview, lasting approximately 60-minutes, and the findings will be transcribed and analysed in accordance with the 6 stage IPA process (Smith et al., 2021). Attachment and bonding styles developed during an infant’s early years are important to the child’s healthy development and the mother’s long-term wellbeing (Thompson, 2016). It is anticipated that the findings will help psychologists and other health/welfare agencies provide meaningful support to mothers as they learn to cope with their hallucinations while also trying to meet the needs of their child.

  • REC name

    Yorkshire & The Humber - Leeds West Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    10 Oct 2022

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion

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