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A life put on hold: adolescents' experiences of having an eating disorder in relation to social contexts outside the family
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. University Health Care Research Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1068-6929
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Örebro University Hospital. University Health Care Research Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8082-4282
University Health Care Research Center, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Örebro University Hospital. University Health Care Research Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1460-4238
2018 (English)In: Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, ISSN 1178-2390, E-ISSN 1178-2390, Vol. 11, p. 425-437Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: As suffering from an eating disorder often entails restrictions on a person's everyday life, one can imagine that it is an important aspect of recovery to help young people learn to balance stressful demands and expectations in areas like the school environment and spare-time activities that include different forms of interpersonal relationships.

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate how adolescents with experience from a restrictive eating disorder describe their illness and their time in treatment in relation to social contexts outside the family.

Patients and methods: This qualitative study is based on narratives of 15 adolescents with experience from outpatient treatment for eating disorders with a predominately restrictive symptomatology, recruited in collaboration with four specialized eating-disorder units. Data were explored through inductive thematic analysis.

Results: The adolescents' descriptions of their illness in relation to their social contexts outside the family follow a clear timeline that includes narratives about when and how the problem arose, time in treatment, and the process that led to recovery. Three main themes were found: 1) the problems emerging in everyday life (outside the family); 2) a life put on hold and 3) creating a new life context.

Conclusion: Young people with eating disorders need to learn how to balance demands and stressful situations in life, and to grasp the confusion that often preceded their illness. How recovery progresses, and how the young people experience their life contexts after recovery, depends largely on the magnitude and quality of peer support and on how school and sports activities affect and are affected by the eating disorder.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
DOVE Medical Press Ltd. , 2018. Vol. 11, p. 425-437
Keywords [en]
restrictive eating disorder, patients' perspectives, qualitative research, thematic analysis, recovery
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-68969DOI: 10.2147/JMDH.S168133ISI: 000443480600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-68969DiVA, id: diva2:1249385
Note

Funding Agencies:

Region Örebro County  

Örebro University 

Available from: 2018-09-19 Created: 2018-09-19 Last updated: 2019-01-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A life put on hold: inside and outside perspectives on illness, treatment, and recovery in adolescents with restrictive eating disorders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A life put on hold: inside and outside perspectives on illness, treatment, and recovery in adolescents with restrictive eating disorders
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to study adolescents with restrictive eating disorders in relation to illness, treatment, and recovery from an inside and outside perspective. Studies I and II are based on data from a national quality register for eating-disorder treatment. Studies III and IV are based on interviews with adolescents previously treated in outpatient care for a restrictive eating disorder. The results showed that 55% of the adolescents were in remission at the end of treatment, and 85% were within a healthy weight range. The average treatment duration was 15 months. Over the years 1999–2014, remission rates and weight recovery increased, whereas treatment duration decreased. Young patients who received mainly family-based treatment had the highest probability of achieving remission at one-year followup, but the patients themselves were most satisfied with individual therapy. The interviews with the adolescents revealed that they often felt a strong ambivalence during the first treatment sessions, both regarding being defined as sick and the involvement of their parents. In retrospect they believed that family involvement was important, but that individual treatment sessions were crucial. The informants highlighted that trust in the therapist was the key to successful treatment. The adolescents’ narratives drew a picture of a life that was “put on hold” during the time of illness, as their involvement in social contexts outside the family was strongly influenced. It was in these contexts that their problems first became visible, and the quality of their interpersonal relationships played a great role in the recovery process. The results suggest that treatment for adolescents with restrictive eating disorders should be better adapted to changed social structures and patients’ individual contexts – a relevant area for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2019. p. 122
Series
Örebro Studies in Medicine, ISSN 1652-4063 ; 187
Keywords
Adolescents, Anorexia Nervosa, restrictive eating disorders, family involvement, treatment outcome, patient perspectives, qualitative research, social contexts, interpersonal relationships
National Category
General Practice Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70520 (URN)978-91-7529-273-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-02-22, Örebro universitet, Campus USÖ, hörsal C1, Södra Grev Rosengatan 32, Örebro, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-12-06 Created: 2018-12-06 Last updated: 2019-01-28Bibliographically approved

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Lindstedt, KatarinaNeander, KerstinGustafsson, Sanna Aila

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