December 4, 2022

By Georgina Ogborn, BSc Psychology Graduate

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

My third-year dissertation mission at Sussex was the end result of my college research and an essential step in the direction of realising my ambition to work within the discipline of medical psychology. My mission investigated the subject of barbershops as a group setting to help male psychological well being through the Covid-19 pandemic. This subject 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 setting the place males can speak brazenly about well being and private points. There may be 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 through the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, my mission addressed three questions: how do barbers want 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 through the Covid-19 pandemic? And third, what’s the scope for offering formal psychological well being help in barbershops?

I carried out my dissertation mission in a gaggle with three different Psychology undergraduates, working underneath the supervision of Dr Daniel Michelson, who’s a Scientific Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at Sussex. Within the first occasion, Daniel directed us in the direction of background studying on group 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 get in touch with barbers remotely at a time when Covid-19 had disrupted ‘enterprise as ordinary’ for barbershops. In complete, we collected information from 30 barbers utilizing a web based qualitative survey. In a second part of the mission, three of the survey respondents have been interviewed to confirm our findings and discover apply implications. An preliminary qualitative coding framework was developed collectively by our group and refined in supervision conferences with Daniel. We have been then individually chargeable for finalising our personal thematic evaluation and write-up.

I completely loved studying the survey responses, interviewing barbers, and thematically analysing the information. The evaluation was an opportunity to discover lived experiences, replicate on their meanings and wider significance, and develop appropriate suggestions for additional analysis and apply. I used to be struck by the care and compassion that barbers expressed in the direction of their purchasers, in addition to their openness with reference to their very own psychological well being. Certainly, a number of of the collaborating barbers talked about how that they had skilled melancholy and anxiousness through 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 setting 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 means 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 members expressed concern about overstepping skilled boundaries, and doubtlessly 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 power of barbers to construct and maintain supportive relationships with males who might not in any other case have interaction with standard psychological well being providers. Extra usually, the research reaffirmed the worth of group property and social connections for selling optimistic psychological well being and serving to individuals to get well 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 of revising the dissertation report right into a journal paper. He defined how writing for publication differs in essential methods from a dissertation mission, notably when it comes to the necessity for concision and the method of educational peer evaluation. In the course of the summer time of 2021, I took lead in drafting and redrafting the paper. By the tip 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 acquired anonymised feedback from reviewers in March and submitted a revised draft in Might. By June, the paper was lastly accepted and printed on-line.

My expertise of the dissertation mission has enabled me to strengthen key analysis abilities, together with conducting evidence-based literature searches, gathering and critically analysing information, and drafting experiences. 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 growing the brand new ‘Advanced Emotional Difficulties Pathway’ for individuals presenting with persona difficulties and sophisticated trauma. Wanting additional forward, I’m certain that the information and abilities developed by means of my dissertation might be of nice worth as I work in the direction of my purpose of coaching as a Scientific Psychologist. I might encourage all third-year college students to see their dissertation mission as an awesome studying alternative, and in addition an expertise that may contribute on to your profession aspirations.

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


Georgina Ogborn is a BSc Psychology graduate (Class of 2021) and presently 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 look at a brief video produced by Georgina:


The paper talked about on this weblog is accessible by means 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 through the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative research from the UK. BJPsych Open, 8(4), E118. doi:10.1192/bjo.2022.520