Objective: The study aim was to identify and describe health consumer perspectives on social barriers to care for eating disorders in an ethnically diverse sample.
Method: We conducted an exploratory secondary analysis of qualitative data comprising transcripts from semi-structured interviews with past and prospective consumers of eating disorder treatment (n = 32). Transcripts were inputted into NVivo 8 for coding, sorting, and quantifying thematic content of interest within strata defined by ethnic minority and non-minority participants. We then examined the influence of key social barriers-including stigma and social stereotypes-on perceived impact on care.
Results: The majority of respondents (78%) endorsed at least one social barrier to care for an eating or weight concern. Perceived stigma (or shame) and social stereotyping-identified both within social networks and among clinicians-had adversely impacted care for 59% and 19% of respondents, respectively.
Discussion: Social barriers to care for eating and weight related concerns may be prevalent in the U.S. and impact both ethnic minority and non-minority health care consumers.
© 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.