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Antidepressants, sexual difficulties and coping strategies : raising up women’s voices
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Catherine O'MullanCatherine O'Mullan, M Doherty, R Coates, P Tilley
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) is a qualitative research methodology which is concerned with understanding personallived experience. According to Reid, Flowers and Larkin (2005), this methodology is particularly well suited to researching sexual health and sexuality as it moves beyond disease and deficit focused approaches and complements the traditional biomedical discourse. For sexual health practitioners, the applied focus of this research methodology also lends itself to the development of sexual health resources and potential interventions.This paper will provide a brief overview of IPA as a research methodology and discuss the advantages of using such an approach within the field of sexual health and sexuality. As an exemplar of how this methodology can be used, the preliminary findings from the author’s doctoral research will be discussed. The aim of the research was to explore women’s experiences of coping with the sexual side effects of antidepressant medication. A purposively selected sample of 10 Australian women under 45 years old were interviewed twice to provide a detailed account of individual experiences and the interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed through an iterative and inductive process. A number of overlapping themes have emerged from thisresearch and numerous coping strategies have been identified. Preliminary findings highlight the importance of understanding the interactions between the biological, the psychological and the social context of women with sexual side effects resulting from antidepressant medication. An insight into how these three areas overlap, is critical in accounting for how women cope with sexual side effects.