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Title: Supporting someone with an eating disorder : a systematic review of caregiver experiences of eating disorder treatment and a qualitative exploration of burnout management within eating disorder services
Author: Fowler, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 0740
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2016
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Aims: Eating disorder recovery is often supported by caregivers and mental health professionals. This research portfolio focuses on the experiences of supporting someone with an eating disorder from the perspective of the caregivers and also mental health professionals. The aims of this research portfolio are: Firstly, to systematically review the published qualitative literature relating to the experiences of caregivers supporting someone during eating disorder treatment; and secondly, to investigate the factors which may contribute to burnout, the factors which may protect against burnout and ways of managing work related stress for healthcare professionals who work in an eating disorder service. Method: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of caregiver experiences with eating disorder treatment was conducted. Searches identified 1927 studies of which 12 met the inclusion criteria for the study. Quality assessment revealed a number of strengths and also some limitations of the studies. For the research study ten healthcare professionals were interviewed on their experiences of supporting people with an eating disorder and ways of managing work related stress/burnout in this role. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse the data. Results: Five major themes were identified from the systematic review: “access to treatment”, “key features of treatment”, “support for the caregiver”, “encounters with health care professionals” and “the future – hopes and fears”. The research study identified seven super-ordinate themes: “Dealing with Client Physical Health Risks”, “Working to Different Goals from the Client”, “Awareness of own Eating Patterns”, “Personal Accomplishment”, “Working Together as a Team”, “Working with Caregivers” and “Ways of Managing Work Related Stress”. Conclusions: The systematic review highlighted a number of clinical implications including the importance to caregivers of early intervention, the provision of practical, tailored information, support for the caregiver, the need for caregivers and professionals to work collaboratively and the importance of instilling hope in caregivers. The research study highlights potential contributors to burnout in eating disorder services as well as positive or protective factors to burnout. It also highlights ways of managing burnout through ensuring a work-life balance, utilising self-care strategies, self-reflection and realising recovery is not 'all or nothing'.
Supervisor: Quayle, Ethel ; Newman, Emily Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: eating disorder ; burnout ; mental health professionals ; caregivers ; qualitative