Background: Anorexia nervosa is a serious health problem worldwide. The literature widely recognises the roles of the family and caregivers in modulating the onset, development, maintenance and treatment of this disorder. However, few studies have addressed the problem from the perspective of maternal caregivers. Aims This study aims to fill this gap by exploring how the meaning given to the term 'eating disorder' influences how mothers communicate with each other about a family member's health problems, how they present symptoms and how this problem is managed. Method A narrative research project was conducted to capture the mothers' experiences of living with a daughter diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. In particular, four semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the ways in which they made sense of the disorder, their roles in treatment and their daughters' treatment experiences. Results The results show that the ways in which mothers characterise the disease guide their method of tackling it and the relationship they have with their daughter, as well as how they see their role in the care and treatment process. Conclusions Anorexia is experienced as something that is uncontainable, and a dimension of its accommodation characterises the relationship between mothers and daughters receiving treatment for the disorder. Treatment is accompanied by a delegating dimension, and the clinical implications are discussed in this study.

What does anorexia nervosa mean? qualitative study of the representation of the eating disorder, the role of the family and treatment by maternal caregivers

Marinaci T.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background: Anorexia nervosa is a serious health problem worldwide. The literature widely recognises the roles of the family and caregivers in modulating the onset, development, maintenance and treatment of this disorder. However, few studies have addressed the problem from the perspective of maternal caregivers. Aims This study aims to fill this gap by exploring how the meaning given to the term 'eating disorder' influences how mothers communicate with each other about a family member's health problems, how they present symptoms and how this problem is managed. Method A narrative research project was conducted to capture the mothers' experiences of living with a daughter diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. In particular, four semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the ways in which they made sense of the disorder, their roles in treatment and their daughters' treatment experiences. Results The results show that the ways in which mothers characterise the disease guide their method of tackling it and the relationship they have with their daughter, as well as how they see their role in the care and treatment process. Conclusions Anorexia is experienced as something that is uncontainable, and a dimension of its accommodation characterises the relationship between mothers and daughters receiving treatment for the disorder. Treatment is accompanied by a delegating dimension, and the clinical implications are discussed in this study.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/458995
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