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Title: Recovery from eating disorders : sufferers' and clinicians' perspectives
Author: Emanuelli, Francesca
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 3477
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2008
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Background: Disagreement exists on how to best define recovery from eating disorders. Definitions to date range from physical to cognitive, emotional, psychological and social. However, none provides a multidimensional perspective and few address sufferers' perspectives and comparisons between sufferers' 1 and clinicians' views. This study investigated recovery from sufferers' and clinicians' perspective using a multidimensional recovery model. Methods: Participants were individuals with a past or present self-defined eating difficulty and clinicians working in the field of eating disorders. Participants read counterbalanced vignettes, in which an individual's eating difficulty was either restrictive or bulimic and her functioning varied along somatic, psychological, emotional, social, eating-related, and body experience-related domains. Participants rated the extent of the individual's recovery. They also completed a checklist, rating the importance of a range of recovery criteria (i.e., somatic, psychological, emotional, social, eating-related, and body experience-related). Results: Overall, there was agreement about the relative importance of recovery criteria, with weight-control, appearance-related, psychological, emotional, and social criteria described as more important than somatic criteria and eating-related behaviours. However, sufferers tended to stress the importance of appearancerelated, psychological, emotional and social improvements, while clinicians stressed the primacy of somatic and physical changes. The type of eating difficulties (i.e., restrictive or bulimic) did not influence recovery assessments. Analyses of the structure of the recovery criteria checklist showed that these criteria fell into meaningful factors (i.e., Psycho-emotional-social criteria, Weightcontrolling behaviours, Non-life threatening features, Life-threatening features, and Evaluation of one's own appearance). Conclusions: The results are discussed in relation to existing recovery research. Study limitations and suggestions for possible future research are outlined. Guidance is offered regarding the findings' clinical implications, with particular attention to how to facilitate recovery within current therapeutic work. 1 For this thesis' purposes and simplicity's sake, 'sufferers' will refer to individuals with an active or past mental health difficulty. The researcher is aware of this choice' limitations and of the debate over the terms to indicate individuals given psychiatric diagnoses (e.g., Tait & Lester, 2005).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available