PURPOSE: Men with eating disorders may experience unique issues compared to their female counterparts, and there is a growing interest in how these differences should be addressed in clinical practice. However, the views of male patients on potential treatment adaptations remain under-explored. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of men who have experienced treatment for eating disorders.

METHODS: Men who had experienced eating disorder treatment were recruited through UK National Health Service eating disorder services and online advertising. 14 participants took part in semi-structured interviews discussing their experiences of treatment, and their views on the need for adaptations. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Three main themes were identified from the analysis: a preference for person-centred, rather than gender-centred treatment, a feeling of being "the odd one out" as men in current treatment environments, and recommendations for treatment adaptations.

CONCLUSIONS: Participants described wanting to be treated as individuals and not defined by their gender. Whilst existing treatment approaches were mostly felt to achieve this individual focus, the actual treatment setting may inadvertently reinforce a perception of atypicality due to being men in a female-dominated environment. Adaptations may therefore be required to make the treatment environment more male friendly. Clinical recommendations are outlined.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: V. Qualitative study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-852
Number of pages8
JournalEating and weight disorders : EWD
Issue number5
Early online date30 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Anorexia
  • Binge eating
  • Bulimia
  • Eating disorders
  • Men’s health
  • Qualitative methods
  • Treatment


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