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Coping with Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposure: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Connolly, J (2019) Coping with Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposure: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Through this research, I explore the lived experiences of 11 participants who are coping with unintentional exposure to carbon monoxide (CO), using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Approximately 60 people of all ages lose their lives from preventable CO exposure in England and Wales each year (NHS, 2019), and people who survive CO exposure may be injured and have long-lasting, burdensome sequelae (Chavouzis and Pneumatikos, 2014). People also have to cope with the traumatic experience of the exposure itself. CO is produced during the incomplete combustion of carbon-based material (Mandal et al., 2011; Kokkarinen et al., 2014), and is known as the ‘silent killer’ (Long and Flaherty, 2017), as it is undetectable to human senses and small amounts are extremely harmful. Academic and medical literature on CO is written from the perspective of healthcare professionals, and has therefore failed to address the perspectives of people who are coping with this experience. This research seeks to rectify this situation. Methodology and findings: An unstructured interview approach, where people were visited twice, was used to generate data. Two dyads were included in this number. This data was then analysed using IPA, where four superordinate themes emerged: ’traumatic experience’, ‘power, justice and judgement’, ‘identity and connectedness’ and ‘everybody seems to be in the dark’. Discussion and conclusion: A feature of the research was the lack of voice afforded to those who have been exposed to CO. This often led to feelings of isolation. The participants also continue to face many challenges due to their exposure. As well as substantial sequelae from the exposure itself, they also face issues due to the lack of knowledge about CO. My analysis suggests that many participants coped well with the effects of CO exposure. However, there were complexities around perceptions about the self and identity. Concepts of power and justice also operate with regards to living with the aftermath of exposure to CO.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Carbon Monoxide; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis; Coping; Carbon monoxide poisoning/exposure
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2020 09:13
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2022 12:31
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00011785
Supervisors: Shaw, A, Carey, P and Malin, A
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11785
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