The perceptions of individuals with anorexia nervosa regarding their family's understanding of their illness, treatment, and recovery

Eat Disord. 2016 Jul-Sep;24(4):375-82. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2015.1090870. Epub 2015 Oct 14.


The current study explores how affected individuals understand their family's perceptions of anorexia nervosa (AN). Perceptions of individuals with AN regarding their family's understanding of the illness may influence their ability to accept family support. Thematic analysis was used on qualitative data of 19 individuals with AN undergoing inpatient treatment. Participants perceived that families: (a) considered AN a problem with food rather than a mental illness; and (b) viewed treatment as time limited, and complete recovery as achievable. Family-based interventions are needed to facilitate understanding about AN, as well as the behavioral and psychological adjustments required during treatment and recovery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Perception
  • Young Adult