The personal meaning of eating disorder symptoms: An interpretative phenomenological analysis.

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The current study aimed to explore the personal meaning of eating difficulties. Eight women with a variety of eating issues were interviewed. These conversations were then analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to construct a framework for understanding the personal world of the interviewees. Three overarching themes identified in participants' accounts of their experiences are reported here: the experience of the eating difficulties as functional; negative effects of having eating difficulties; ambivalence towards the eating difficulties. These themes add to our knowledge of the potential role of personal experiences in the aetiology and maintenance of eating difficulties.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2010