Adolescents’ Experience on an Inpatient Eating Disorder Unit: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Overview: The increase in prevalence of eating disorders among adolescents is an area of concern in the field of mental health. Due to its chronic nature and multifaceted presentation, several treatment approaches in various settings are utilized. However, the research literature discussing effective treatment components for adolescents with eating disorders remains unclear due to variable and inconclusive research findings. As eating disorders are life threatening illnesses that can require long lengths of hospital stay, the development of comprehensive programs for adolescents require a variety of evidence-based treatment components. To date, the evidence on the quality of eating disorders programs is lacking, specifically in relation to interventions and specific practices implemented on inpatient eating disorder programs. Therefore, individual perceptions as being involved in treatment is crucial to understanding the quality of current treatment practices.  

Purpose: To identify effective treatment components towards improved service delivery, this qualitative research study aims to explore the patient experience of treatment in an inpatient hospital setting as an adolescent. In doing so, the obtained knowledge will be used towards establishing treatment standards and improving nursing practice.  

Participant eligibility criteria:  

  • Individuals diagnosed with an eating disorder
  • Experience with treatment for an eating disorder between 13 to 18 years of age on an inpatient unit in a hospital setting   
  • Currently in recovery from eating disorder 

Contact Information:   
Shruti Patel, RN, BScN, MN, PhD(c):