Are recovery stories helpful for women with eating disorders? A pilot study and commentary on future research
Anecdotally it is well known that eating disorder memoirs are popular with people with anorexia nervosa and recovery stories are readily available online. However, no research to date has empirically explored whether such stories are helpful for current sufferers. The aim of the current pilot study was to explore the efficacy of recovery narratives as a means of improving motivation and self-efficacy and to qualitatively explore patient perspectives of such stories.
Fifty-seven women with anorexia nervosa and subclinical anorexia nervosa participated in this online study. Participants were randomised to either receive recovery stories or to a wait-list control group. After completing baseline measures, participants read five stories about recovery, and completed post-intervention measures two weeks later.
The quantitative results indicated that reading stories of recovery had no effect on motivation and self-efficacy over a two-week period. In contrast, the qualitative results showed that the stories generated thoughts about the possibility of recovery and the majority indicated they would recommend them to others.
This study adds to a growing body of research exploring the integration of voices of lived experience into treatment approaches. Future research should focus on 1) identifying for whom and at which stage of illness recovery stories might be helpful; 2) the mechanism via which they might operate; and 3) the most helpful way of presenting such stories.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40337-018-0206-2
Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.
Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.