What is it about?

There is a distinct lack of studies that explores the views and opinions of parents in relation to people diagnosed with an eating disorder. This study specifically investigated the subjective experiences of parents who were caring for an adolescent with anorexia nervosa in Ireland. A qualitative descriptive approach was used to elicit the unique views and experiences of seven mothers and three fathers.

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Why is it important?

• Explores the unique parental experiences of caring for an adolescent with anorexia nervosa • Establishes the psychosocial needs and necessary supports for parents • Shows that the of lack of information and delays in accessing appropriate services increases parental distress • Demonstrates the importance of viewing parents as an integral resource in treatment approaches.


The findings showed that parents recognised the significant impact that the illness was having on all facets of family life. Despite the negative impact of the illness, parents remained hopeful that the adolescent would recover. In terms of current mental health nursing practice, this study demonstrates the importance of viewing parents as an integral resource and involving parents in care planning and treatment approaches.

Dr Edward McCann
City, University of London

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Caring for an Adolescent with Anorexia Nervosa: Parent’s Views and Experiences, Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, June 2015, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.apnu.2015.01.003.
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