Incorporating interventions for unhealthy exercise into eating disorders treatment A survey of attitudes in those with lived experience of an eating disorder
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Carolyn Nahman and Josephine Holland. Incorporating interventions for unhealthy exercise into eating disorders treatment A survey of attitudes in those with lived experience of an eating disorder. Sports Psychiatry 0.0 May 18 2022
Introduction: There is little consensus on the treatment of unhealthy exercise in eating disorders. Many treatment programmes do not offer any interventions at all. This study explored the attitudes of those with lived experience towards incorporating treatments for unhealthy exercise in eating disorders. Methods: An online survey was created using onlinesurveys.ac.uk and distributed through social media. Analyses included calculation of descriptive statistics and inductive thematic analysis of free text responses. Results: One hundred and forty-six respondents completed the survey, over 50% identified as having lived experience of an eating disorder. Thematic analysis of free text responses from those with lived experience identified themes around the benefits of incorporating exercise into the treatment of eating disorders including the benefits of exercise on mental and physical health and the opportunity to develop a healthier relationship with exercise. The themes around the risks of incorporating exercise included slowing or limiting recovery and physical risks of exercising at low weight. The themes around the risks of not addressing exercise included leaving part of the disorder untreated and how this could affect recovery. Conclusion: Those with lived experience of eating disorders feel unhealthy exercise is an important part of the disorder to treat. There is recognition of the risks of doing so, but also benefits in helping people to learn a new healthy relationship with exercise.
Published online at:
- Eating Disorders