The parent experience of eating disorders: interactions with health professionals.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Int J Ment Health Nurs, 2004, 13 (1), pp. 67 - 73
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The experiences of parents with a child with anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia nervosa were explored and this article aims to present one component of that study: parents' interactions with health professionals. The research was initiated after anecdotal stories from parents led the authors to undertake a literature review, which revealed a paucity of published research on this topic. Twenty-two interviews were conducted with volunteer parents from New South Wales, Australia. A descriptive qualitative design was used and themes were identified through in-depth analysis. Six themes were identified: finding help, feeling shut out, engagement, images portrayed, being resourceful and parents not prepared to give up. The implications for health professionals include that they acknowledge parental involvement in recovery. We urge the nursing profession, particularly mental health nurses, to work towards establishing collaborative partnerships between families & health professionals in order to achieve a better health outcome for all.
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