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Care experiences of young people with eating disorders and their parents: qualitative study

  • Oana Mitrofan (a1), Hristina Petkova (a2), Astrid Janssens (a3), Jonathan Kelly (a4), Eve Edwards (a5), Dasha Nicholls (a6), Fiona McNicholas (a7), Mima Simic (a8), Ivan Eisler (a9), Tamsin Ford (a10) and Sarah Byford (a11)...
Abstract
Background

Perspectives of young people with eating disorders and their parents on helpful aspects of care should be incorporated into evidence-based practice and service design, but data are limited.

Aims

To explore patient and parent perspectives on positive and negative aspects of care for young people with eating disorders.

Method

Six online focus groups with 19 young people aged 16–25 years with existing or past eating disorders and 11 parents.

Results

Thematic analysis identified three key themes: the need to (a) shift from a weight-focused to a more holistic, individualised and consistent care approach, with a better balance in targeting psychological and physical problems from an early stage; (b) improve professionals' knowledge and attitude towards patients and their families at all levels of care from primary to ‘truly specialist’; (c) enhance peer and family support.

Conclusions

Young people and parents identified an array of limitations in approaches to care for young people with eating disorders and raised the need for change, particularly a move away from a primarily weight-focused treatment and a stronger emphasis on psychological needs and individualised care.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Oana Mitrofan, Room 2.04, University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health, College House, St Luke's Campus, University of Exeter, Exeter EX1 2LU, UK. Email: o.mitrofan@exeter.ac.uk
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Care experiences of young people with eating disorders and their parents: qualitative study

  • Oana Mitrofan (a1), Hristina Petkova (a2), Astrid Janssens (a3), Jonathan Kelly (a4), Eve Edwards (a5), Dasha Nicholls (a6), Fiona McNicholas (a7), Mima Simic (a8), Ivan Eisler (a9), Tamsin Ford (a10) and Sarah Byford (a11)...
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