Malcolm Jones, RMN, BSc (Hon), MSc.
Voice hearing: A secondary analysis of talk by people who hear voices
Article first published online: 26 JUL 2011
© 2011 The Authors; International Journal of Mental Health Nursing © 2011 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 50–59, February 2012
How to Cite
Jones, M. and Coffey, M. (2012), Voice hearing: A secondary analysis of talk by people who hear voices. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 21: 50–59. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2011.00761.x
Michael Coffey, RMN, RGN, BSc (Hon), MSc, PhD.
- Issue published online: 3 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 26 JUL 2011
- Accepted June 2011.
- secondary analysis;
- voice hearing
Unitary explanations of mental illness symptoms appear to be inadequate when faced with everyday experiences of living with these conditions. In particular, the experience of voice hearing is not sufficiently accounted for by biomedical explanations. This paper revisits data collected from a sample of people who hear voices to perform a secondary analysis with the aim of examining the explanatory devices deployed by individuals in their accounts of voice hearing. Secondary analysis is the use of existing data, collected for a previous study, in order to explore a research question distinct from the original inquiry. In this study, we subjected these data to a thematic analysis. People who hear voices make use of standard psychiatric explanations about the experience in their accounts. However, the accounts paint a more complex picture and show that people also impute personal meaning to the experience. This in turn implicates both personal and social identity; that is, how the person is known to themselves and to others. We suggest that this knowledge can inform a more thoughtful engagement with the experiences of voice hearing by mental health nurses.