The psychosocial and support experiences of individuals who are identified as having severe and enduring ‘anorexia nervosa’: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

2018-11-07T11:40:14Z (GMT) by Jessica Conrad-Czaja
Eating disorders are complex difficulties that can have a significant impact upon all realms of an individual’s life. It is estimated that 70-80% of individuals diagnosed with an eating disorder will experience recovery. However, others will go on to experience a severe and enduring eating disorder. Research in this field has tended to focus on adolescent experiences, treatment efficacy and outcomes. The current literature review aimed to explore the ways in which adult individuals experience, and make sense of, recovery from an eating disorder. Four electronic databases were searched and nine studies met the inclusion criteria. The findings suggested that recovery is a complex, dynamic and subjective process that involves the choice to change, a variety of transitional processes and a conceptualisation of recovery. Recovery was understood to be a comprehensive experience in which hope and interpersonal relations are particularly crucial. The current empirical study aimed to explore the psychosocial and support experiences of individuals identified as having severe and enduring anorexia nervosa, as well as their future hopes and needs. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six females identified as having severe and enduring anorexia nervosa and these were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The analysis generated four super ordinate themes and 13 corresponding sub-themes. The themes were discussed in relation to relevant psychological theory and previous research and the clinical implications and recommendations for future research also discussed. The critical appraisal offers a reflective account of the research process and includes the professional and personal development of the researcher from undertaking the current study. This aims to maximise transparency and offers a critique of the current research.

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