Dissertation to Publication: Barbershops as a setting for supporting males’s psychological well being throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

By Georgina Ogborn, BSc Psychology Graduate

photo of Georgina in graduation gown, throwing hat in the air

My third-year dissertation undertaking at Sussex was the end result of my college research and an essential step in direction of realising my ambition to work within the area of scientific psychology. My undertaking investigated the subject of barbershops as a neighborhood setting to help male psychological well being throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This matter is essential as a result of round one in eight males expertise psychological well being difficulties, but most don’t search assist and males are under-represented in psychological well being service referrals. Earlier analysis has proven that barbers can efficiently increase consciousness about circumstances corresponding to hypertension and prostate most cancers, constructing on the custom of barbershops as a supportive surroundings the place males can discuss brazenly about well being and private points. There’s now rising curiosity in situating psychological well being promotion and prevention actions in barbershops. Such community-based settings are notably essential within the context of disrupted psychological well being care provision and surging psychological well being issues throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, my undertaking addressed three questions: how do barbers favor to have interaction with their male purchasers in relation to psychological well being points? Second, what psychological well being impacts have been noticed by barbers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic? And third, what’s the scope for offering formal psychological well being help in barbershops?

I carried out my dissertation undertaking in a bunch with three different Psychology undergraduates, working below the supervision of Dr Daniel Michelson, who’s a Scientific Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at Sussex. Within the first occasion, Daniel directed us in direction of background studying on neighborhood psychological well being approaches and offered suggestions on our deliberate analysis design and particular analysis questions. By working collectively, my fellow group members and I have been in a position to pool efforts and establish and call barbers remotely at a time when Covid-19 had disrupted ‘enterprise as standard’ for barbershops. In whole, we collected knowledge from 30 barbers utilizing a web-based qualitative survey. In a second section of the undertaking, three of the survey respondents have been interviewed to confirm our findings and discover observe implications. An preliminary qualitative coding framework was developed collectively by our group and refined in supervision conferences with Daniel. We have been then individually answerable for finalising our personal thematic evaluation and write-up.

I completely loved studying the survey responses, interviewing barbers, and thematically analysing the info. The evaluation was an opportunity to discover lived experiences, replicate on their meanings and wider significance, and develop appropriate suggestions for additional analysis and observe. I used to be struck by the care and compassion that barbers expressed in direction of their purchasers, in addition to their openness with regards to their very own psychological well being. Certainly, a number of of the collaborating barbers talked about how that they had skilled despair and nervousness throughout the pandemic themselves.

The findings have been organised into three overarching themes. The primary, ‘greater than a haircut’, described how the bodily and relational contexts of barbershops can provide a supportive surroundings for purchasers. The second, ‘impacts of COVID-19’, described stressors associated to the pandemic and implications for purchasers’ psychological well being and barber-client relationships. The third, ‘formal psychological well being methods’, described alternatives for, and potential boundaries to, formalising psychological well being help in barbershops. Barbers highlighted the difficulties confronted by purchasers, notably the lack of social contacts – together with these afforded by way of customary visits for haircuts. Many barbers expressed their curiosity in receiving formal coaching to recognise psychological well being issues and ‘sign-post’ purchasers to applicable providers. Then again, some individuals expressed concern about overstepping skilled boundaries, and probably impacting upon confidentiality. The feasibility of becoming formal psychological well being initiatives round office calls for was additionally questioned by some barbers. Future work is required to develop credible and resource-efficient initiatives that harness the flexibility of barbers to construct and maintain supportive relationships with males who could not in any other case have interaction with typical psychological well being providers. Extra usually, the research reaffirmed the worth of neighborhood property and social connections for selling constructive psychological well being and serving to individuals to recuperate from episodes of psychological ill-health. 

After handing within the dissertation in Might 2021, I used to be actually happy when Daniel raised the potential for revising the dissertation report right into a journal paper. He defined how writing for publication differs in essential methods from a dissertation undertaking, notably by way of the necessity for concision and the method of educational peer evaluation. Through the summer time of 2021, I took lead in drafting and redrafting the paper. By the top of January 2022, the manuscript was lastly able to be submitted to our chosen journal, BJPsych Open (the sister journal of the British Journal of Psychiatry) for peer evaluation. We obtained anonymised feedback from reviewers in March and submitted a revised draft in Might. By June, the paper was lastly accepted and revealed on-line.

My expertise of the dissertation undertaking has enabled me to strengthen key analysis abilities, together with conducting evidence-based literature searches, gathering and critically analysing knowledge, and drafting reviews. These abilities have been important for planning and finishing up audits and repair evaluations in my present job as a Senior Assistant Psychologist for Sussex Partnership NHS Basis Belief. My function includes creating the brand new ‘Complicated Emotional Difficulties Pathway’ for individuals presenting with character difficulties and complicated trauma. Wanting additional forward, I’m positive that the information and abilities developed by way of my dissertation might be of nice worth as I work in direction of my objective of coaching as a Scientific Psychologist. I might encourage all third-year college students to see their dissertation undertaking as an incredible studying alternative, and likewise an expertise that may contribute on to your profession aspirations.

If you’re thinking about discovering out extra about my expertise, please watch the video under.

Georgina Ogborn is a BSc Psychology graduate (Class of 2021) and at present works as a Senior Assistant Psychologist at Sussex Partnership NHS Basis Belief. Right here Georgina shares her expertise of conducting and publishing her undergraduate dissertation, and discusses the way it pertains to her profession aspirations. Click on under to observe a brief video produced by Georgina:

The paper talked about on this weblog is on the market by way of the quotation under:

Ogborn, G., Bowden-Howe, C., Burd, P., Kleijn, M., & Michelson, D. (2022). Barbershops as a setting for supporting males’s psychological well being throughout the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative research from the UK. BJPsych Open, 8(4), E118. doi:10.1192/bjo.2022.520