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Title: Quality of life following recovery: perceptions of 'what might be' in severe anorexia nervosa
Author: Irwin, Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 9155
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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Severe and enduring anorexia nervosa (SE-AN) is a chronic and debilitating illness with a large detrimental impact on quality of life (QoL) in its sufferers. Treatments for SE-AN remain inadequate and full recovery is often illusive. Despite the growing literature on QoL in anorexia nervosa (AN), it remains unclear why chronicity of AN does not have a greater impact on QoL and there remains mixed findings on the relationship between QoL and full recovery. The present study aimed to address these gaps by conducting an in-depth exploration of perceptions of how SE-AN affects QoL, what full recovery means to individuals who have SE-AN and how QoL might be affected if an individual with SE-AN were to achieve clinical recovery. Furthermore, the study aims to build on current conceptualizations of recovery. Seven outpatients with SE-AN receiving treatment from a specialist eating disorders team were interviewed and the data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IP A). Three master themes emerged from the analysis with many similarities between the participants' responses. These themes were 'Experience of treatment and the therapeutic relationship', 'Life with AN' and 'Perceptions of full recovery'. The study provides insight into the relationship between subjective QoL and recovery and builds on current conceptualizations of recovery. It was found that participants with SE-AN may adjust to life with their illness so it becomes the norm for them. Participants may then rate their subjective QoL as higher, despite the severe objective impact of SE-AN on QoL. This could reduce motivation to recover. Furthermore, clinical recovery was often perceived as unachievable. These findings support the use of a recovery model in the treatment of individuals with SE-AN as the use of social definitions of recovery and a focus on improving QoL during treatment may best address the needs of individuals with SE-AN.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available