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Book part
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Heike Bartel

Abstract

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Men Writing Eating Disorders: Autobiographical Writing and Illness Experience in English and German Narratives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-920-5

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2018

Anthony Papathomas

This chapter describes the disordered eating in sport problem and provides a critical overview of research in the area. It offers specific insights into how cultural…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter describes the disordered eating in sport problem and provides a critical overview of research in the area. It offers specific insights into how cultural practices in elite sport may be implicated.

Approach

In contrast to dominant medical perspectives, disordered eating in sport is discussed as a product of high-performance cultural contexts. The ways that practice commonplace in elite sport might contribute to disordered eating onset and maintenance are described. In turn, I also consider the experiential struggles of athletes with eating disorders and how this relates to dominant discourses in elite sport.

Findings

Elite sport culture, with its emphasis on surveillance, sacrifice, and success, reinforces disordered eating practices. Much of what is conventionally considered disordered eating, can be normalized when situated in the context of high-performance sport. Nevertheless, when functional disordered eating slides into mental illness, the mental toughness ethos works to silence and stigmatize athletes.

Research Implications

Research must broaden its focus to explore how social practices in elite sport normalize disordered eating and how prevention approaches can become more culturally informed and less individually driven.

Details

Sport, Mental Illness, and Sociology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-469-1

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Book part
Publication date: 24 July 2019

Kerry McGannon

To explore the discursive construction of disordered eating and athlete identity meanings within elite female athlete’s stories. Published athlete autobiographies were…

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the discursive construction of disordered eating and athlete identity meanings within elite female athlete’s stories. Published athlete autobiographies were interrogated as cultural sites of analysis to accomplish this aim.

Approach

A critical social constructionist perspective on disordered eating is outlined along with narrative research findings on female athletes and disordered eating. A discursive psychological approach and critical discourse analysis (CDA) is then discussed to theorize and study meanings of disordered eating and athlete identities/subject positions. Next, the utility of studying two elite female athlete’s autobiographies is outlined followed by examples from a CDA of two athlete stories.

Findings

Two discourses and two identity/subject positions within each are outlined: discourse of performance and the “committed, controlled athlete” and a discourse of personal growth and the “empowered athlete in transition.” The features of each discourse and subject position are outlined and examples from each athlete’s story. The intention is to show the ways in which discursive resources construct the body, food and identities in sport and the implications.

Implications

The chapter is concluded with why studying “disordered eating and body talk” within discourses is useful to expand understanding of constraining and emancipative aspects of athlete identities, struggle and recovery.

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Zoë Meropi Hepburn, Emily Rose Rothwell and Julia Ann Fox-Clinch

To evaluate the effectiveness of an adaptation of Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy (IPT-G), in facilitating short- and longer-term improvements in eating disorder

Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the effectiveness of an adaptation of Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy (IPT-G), in facilitating short- and longer-term improvements in eating disorder symptomology, psychosocial impairment, anxiety, depression and attachment difficulties among adults living with overweight and diagnosed with binge eating disorder (BED).

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 24 participants completed measures at the start of IPT-G, mid-treatment, discharge and six-month follow-up. Quantitative outcomes were analysed utilising one-way repeated measures analysis of variance.

Findings

Treatment retention was 100%. Significant improvements in binge-eating frequency, psychosocial impairment and depression were achieved at mid-treatment and maintained at post-treatment and six-month follow-up, and with large effect sizes. Attachment anxiety had reduced significantly at post-treatment and was maintained at six-month review. Body mass index (BMI) had stabilised by mid-treatment and was maintained at post-treatment and six-month follow-up. All hypotheses were supported, with the exception that attachment avoidance did not improve significantly and following a post-treatment reduction, anxiety symptoms deteriorated slightly by six-month follow-up, such that they were no longer significantly different from pre-treatment levels.

Practical implications

Despite being the most prevalent of the eating disorders (compared to anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa), BED is under-recognised and under-treated in clinical settings. Results indicate the sustained effectiveness of IPT-G in improving eating disorder and comorbid symptomology associated with BED.

Originality/value

This is the first UK study to investigate the effectiveness of IPT-G at treating BED. Unlike previous studies in the field, this study did not exclude participants based on age, BMI or psychiatric comorbidity.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2020

Zoë Meropi Hepburn and Emily Rose Rothwell

This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a specialist UK day treatment programme (DTP), in terms of whether improvements in eating disorder symptomology and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a specialist UK day treatment programme (DTP), in terms of whether improvements in eating disorder symptomology and psychosocial impairment achieved at discharge were maintained at 6-month and 12-month follow-ups.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 69 patients (aged 16+) with eating disorders who had received treatment in the DTP were reviewed at 6-month and 12-month follow-ups, using demographic, physiological and psychological measures. Quantitative outcomes were analysed using one-way repeated measures analysis of variance.

Findings

Data analysis revealed that significant improvements in eating disordered attitudes, body mass index (among underweight participants), binge frequency (among participants with those symptoms) and psychosocial impairment achieved at discharge, were also maintained at 6-month and 12-month follow-ups, and with large effect sizes. All hypotheses were supported, with the exception that frequency of vomiting symptoms had deteriorated at the 12-month follow-up and was no longer significantly different from vomiting frequency on admission.

Originality/value

Results provide support for the sustained effectiveness of DTPs in improving eating disorder symptoms and psychosocial impairment associated with eating disorders. This is the first study to evaluate the effectiveness of a UK DTP for adults at maintaining improvements to eating disorder symptoms and attitudes at follow-up.

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Article
Publication date: 10 November 2020

Archana Waller, Chiara Paganini, Katrina Andrews and Vicki Hutton

The aim of the study is to explore the experience of eating disorder support group participants. The research question is “What is the experience of adults recovering from…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the study is to explore the experience of eating disorder support group participants. The research question is “What is the experience of adults recovering from an eating disorder in a professionally-led monthly support group?”

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study explored the experience of adults recovering from an eating disorder in a professionally-led monthly support group. Participants were 18 adults recovering from an eating disorder who attended a monthly support group. The data were collected using an online anonymous survey and then analysed using a thematic analysis.

Findings

The main themes that emerged were: (1) sharing the pain and promise, (2) cautions and concerns and (3) facilitators have influence. The findings indicate that the support group provided a safe space to share their lived experience, that it reduced stigma and isolation, and improved participants' motivation and engagement. Moreover, the results revealed some challenges to the functioning of the group. These included management of discussions and dominant members, need for psycho-educational information and managing intense feelings, relating to body-related comparison and other mental disorder comorbidities.

Originality/value

This is the first study highlighting the valuable role of the facilitator in balancing content with compassion, in ensuring safety in the group, and potentially fulfilling a valuable education function in supporting participants in their eating disorder recovery journey.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2010

Julie Dowds

This study explores young people's perceptions of eating disorders, the risks and consequences of developing an eating disorder, and the effectiveness of education and…

Abstract

This study explores young people's perceptions of eating disorders, the risks and consequences of developing an eating disorder, and the effectiveness of education and prevention programmes. Eating disorder prevention programmes are predominantly school‐based, target young women, and are delivered in weekly sessions for a six or eight‐week period. There is evidence that programmes can increase short‐term knowledge but less evidence for their impact on attitudes and behaviours. Focus groups were undertaken with 96 male and female participants, aged 13‐18, drawn from schools and informal youth settings in three local authority areas in Scotland. Participants demonstrated good understanding of eating disorders; insight into the complexity of reasons for developing a disorder (with a belief that celebrity culture and associated thin imagery has the largest influence) and strong empathy for those who experience eating disorders (as opposed to people who are obese). Television and magazines were cited as the main sources of information, with parents and friends identified as key sources of support rather than professionals. Participants indicated a desire to discuss eating disorders and for this to be incorporated into school health education programmes. Key features of school‐based programmes indicated by participants include single gender discussion groups and development of critical thinking towards the media. The study supports the need for multi‐agency discussion‐based education programmes, long‐term evaluation of impact, and the enhancement of peer support and parental awareness of issues surrounding eating disorders. It also highlights a number of gaps in research in this field.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2014

Joanna Blackburn and Virginia Minogue

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of an eating disorder care pathway for adults with eating disorders, in a northern borough town. It arose out of a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of an eating disorder care pathway for adults with eating disorders, in a northern borough town. It arose out of a need to reduce and address inconsistent access to services and treatment pathways.

Design/methodology/approach

The development involved a mapping exercise of current service delivery, a review of the literature on eating disorder care pathways, consultation workshops, the engagement of service users and carers, and the development of draft pathways for patients and carers.

Findings

Significant emphasis was on raising awareness, prevention, identification and assessment, treatment and recovery. Two pathways were proposed, one for service users focusing on awareness raising/prevention, identification and assessment, treatment, stabilisation and relapse prevention and one for carers/families focusing on carers being identifiable in their own right to receive support for caring for someone with an eating disorder.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of the care pathway under development was the difficulty obtaining an accurate figure of the true number of cases of eating disorders in the local area. This, together with the lack of any form of systematic review or meta-analysis of care pathways made identifying the number of people suffering from eating disorders and developing an effective model difficult.

Originality/value

The proposed pathway places significant emphasis on increasing knowledge, incorporating the patient perspective, and enhancing the recognition and understanding of eating disorders in the community. A model was created that could be implemented successfully and identify patients suffering from eating disorders, when the true incidence of eating disorders remains hidden.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2011

Helen Sharpe, Peter Musiat, Olivia Knapton and Ulrike Schmidt

Pro‐eating disorder websites are online communities of individuals who do not consider eating disorders to be serious mental illnesses requiring treatment. People visit…

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Abstract

Purpose

Pro‐eating disorder websites are online communities of individuals who do not consider eating disorders to be serious mental illnesses requiring treatment. People visit these websites to meet other like‐minded individuals, to share tips and tricks on how to lose weight and how to otherwise maintain the symptomatology of the disorder. This paper aims to review what is actually known about the risks associated with visiting these websites and provides recommendations for dealing with pro‐eating disorder material.

Design/methodology/approach

Relevant peer‐reviewed papers were located by means of searching three online journal databases (SCOPUS, PubMed, Web of Knowledge), and through carrying out reference checking. Key words for the search were: pro‐anorexia, pro‐ana, pro‐bulimia, pro‐mia and pro‐eating disorders.

Findings

Pro eating disorder websites are common and visited by a significant proportion of patients with eating disorders and non‐patients. The sites may be perceived beneficial, as they provide support and a sense of community. Although there is evidence for the harmfulness of pro‐eating disorder content on the internet, there is no clear indication that such sites promote the development or maintenance of eating disorders. Therefore, banning pro eating disorder websites seems inappropriate and unpractical, but measures for web‐hosting companies should be in place allowing them to remove such content. Instead, bodies creating alternative websites for young people should be supported. Clinicians and parents should be made aware of the existence of pro eating disorder websites and how to deal with them.

Originality/value

This paper provides an overview of the research in this field and discusses possible ways in which health professionals and the general public may respond to the existence of these web sites.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2010

William Jones and John Morgan

Eating disorders have long been perceived to occur primarily in women; few disorders in general medicine or psychiatry exhibit such a skew in gender distribution. Men and…

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Abstract

Eating disorders have long been perceived to occur primarily in women; few disorders in general medicine or psychiatry exhibit such a skew in gender distribution. Men and women with eating disorders share common risk factors and exhibit some overlap in clinical presentation, but important differences do exist. Determining which factors best explain these differences remain uncertain. Furthermore, despite a marked increase in the incidence of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa in women over the last 50 years, the awareness of eating disorders in men remains low. This is in spite of the fact that men represent 10‐20% of cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa and up to 40% of cases of binge eating disorder. Similarly, recent research has focused on the assumption and stereotype that eating disorders in men are associated with homosexuality, when male body image objectification and body dissatisfaction are also widespread in younger heterosexual men who are being increasingly confronted with the same impossible body image ideals that already challenge women and gay men. The stigma of being a man with an eating disorder continues, and we persist in attempting to fit men with eating disorders into a theoretical and clinical framework largely focused on the physical, psychological, and emotional development of women. This article reviews the literature on eating disorders in men and explores the factors that may explain this gender discrepancy.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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