The experience of specialist inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa: a qualitative study from adult patients' perspectives

Vivien Smith*, Zoe Chouliara, Paul G. Morris, Paula Collin , Kevin Power, Alex Yellowlees, David Grierson, Elena Papageorgiou, Moira Cook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


This qualitative study aimed to explore experiences of women currently undergoing specialist inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa. Interviews were carried out with 21 women with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa from a specialist adult inpatient eating disorder unit. Five master themes emerged using thematic analysis: (1) shifts in control, (2) experience of transition, (3) importance of supportive staff relationships, (4) sharing with peers and (5) process of recovery and self-discovery. Findings suggest that patients experience a process of change and adjustment in relation to levels of perceived personal control, attachment to the treatment environment and a sense of self-identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-27
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date6 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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