Different pathways, same goals: A large-scale qualitative study of autistic and non-autistic patient-generated definitions of recovery from an eating disorder

Felicity Sedgewick*, Jenni Leppanen, Amelia Austin, Kate Tchanturia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Definitions of recovery from an eating disorder (ED) have generally been formulated around clinical conceptualisations, rather than based on the views of patients. This paper therefore asked those with lived experience of ED for their own definitions of recovery. Method: Data were collected as part of an online study looking at EDs, autism and relationships. About 173 participants identified as recovered from ED and gave free-response definitions of recovery. Responses were subject to thematic analysis. Results: Seven major themes were identified: Weight restoration, lack of ED behaviours, thoughts and behaviours, cognitions, emotional responses, getting on with life, and ongoing challenges. Conclusions: Many definitions of recovery given by those who have lived experience of ED echoed those used by clinicians and researchers. There were also points of divergence around the ongoing challenges of recovery. Our findings highlight the need for continuing support post-weight restoration to facilitate the successful long-term recovery for those with ED.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-591
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Volume30
Issue number5
Early online date24 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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