A more holistic definition of patients' recovery from eating disorders (EDs) highlights that well-being interventions linked to self-compassion are under-researched and under-utilised. Staff burnout is also common in ED units (EDUs), linked to difficult relationships with patients and poor self-care, and is not well addressed. Therefore we piloted a series of joint well-being workshops to target these issues. Joint workshops were offered to patients (n = 55) and the multi-disciplinary team MDT (n = 34) in adult ED wards over two years. Experiences were evaluated quantitively and qualitatively. Mood post-workshops increased significantly for both groups (patients: p < 0.001, r = 0.49; MDT: z = 3.043, p = 0.002, r = 0.41), with the feeling that they deserved to take time for self-care (patients: z = 2.419, p = 0.016, r = 0.31); MDT: z = 2.814, p = 0.005, r = 0.38). Workshops were found to be enjoyable and highly relevant to well-being, but less useful by patients. Thematic analysis identified six themes: Enjoyment, recovery and well-being, relationships, content, structure and future ideas. Both groups experienced improved mood and increased enjoyment and awareness of well-being. Patient isolation was addressed, and the staff experienced stress reduction and increased productivity. Both groups experienced improved relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Article number247
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Burnout
  • Eating disorders
  • Recovery model
  • Well-being


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