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Title: Body image disturbance and the therapeutic alliance in adult anorexia nervosa : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Williams, Charlotte
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is widespread, difficult to treat effectively and often has a poor prognosis. Body Image Disturbance (BID) is prevalent in the spectrum of eating disorders and is a core factor in the development, maintenance and relapse of AN. Establishing a therapeutic alliance (TA) has been associated with improved outcomes in AN, although this is under-researched area. The existing research suggests that developing a therapeutic alliance with clients with AN can be challenging. Previous research has mainly focused on the TA with psychotherapists and has overlooked other important members of the treatment team, particularly nursing staff. The study aimed to use a qualitative design to explore the experiences of nursing staff working with body image disturbance in adult anorexia nervosa. Little is known about the impact of working with body image disturbance. Nursing staff may lack confidence and skills associated with body image disturbance, which could potentially impact on the therapeutic alliance. The study aimed to explore nursing staffs understanding of BID, the psychological consequences of working with BID in AN and the potential impact on the TA with clients with AN. Eight members of the nursing team from an adult inpatient eating disorder ward were interviewed using a semi-structured interview. The data was analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009). Five master themes emerged from the data: knowledge and understanding of BID; the challenge of uncertainty; the negative impact on the self and the TA; identifying with clients; and resilience and resourcefulness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available