Adolescents with anorexia nervosa: multiple perspectives of discharge readiness

J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. Jul-Sep 2005;18(3):116-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6171.2005.00021.x.


Problem: Little is known about the conditions that must be in place to help adolescent patients and their families gain the confidence needed to continue recovery at home, following the adolescents' hospitalization for anorexia nervosa.

Methods: Beliefs about discharge readiness were obtained through an open-ended questionnaire following the patients' first weekend pass home from an in-patient unit. The perceptions of patients, parents, and registered nurses were obtained using parallel versions of a questionnaire.

Findings: An examination of the responses revealed four themes; medical stability, education, psychological changes, and community resource planning, that were common to all respondents, as well as themes specific to adolescents and to nurses.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that each group of respondents has unique discharge readiness needs and that registered nurses have an important role to play in helping patients and families make the transition home as successful as possible. Implications for nursing practice are highlighted.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Adult
  • Aftercare
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Convalescence / psychology
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Ontario
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Discharge / standards*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Nursing / organization & administration
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Surveys and Questionnaires