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      The experience of pregnancy in women with a history of anorexia nervosa: An interpretive phenomenological analysis

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          Background and aims: To explore the experience of pregnancy for women who have a history of anorexia nervosa (AN), in relation to the impact of AN on pregnancy, and pregnancy on AN. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six women with a history of AN. Data were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Results: Four super-ordinate themes emerged: ‘Effortful resistance of AN’; ‘The unvalued self, valued other dialectic’; ‘In new territory’; and ‘Feeling distanced’. Conclusions: Various factors motivated the women to try and change their AN behaviours. This was achieved with varying degrees of success. Attempts to manage AN cognitions and emotions were less successful, and this aspect of their illness persisted. Whilst the baby was viewed as worthy of nurturance, the self was not. Pregnancy represented an unfamiliar experience, and was a time of relative isolation and lack of psychological support. Findings are discussed in the context of theory, research and practice.

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          The Eating Attitudes Test: an index of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa

          Data on the development of a 40-item measure of the symptoms in anorexia nervosa are reported. The scale (EAT) is presented in a 6-point, forced choice, self-report format which is easily administered and scored. The EAT was validated using 2 groups of female anorexia nervosa patients ( N = 32 and 33) and female control subjects ( N = 34 and 59). Total EAT score was significantly correlated with criterion group membership( r = 0·87, P < 0·001), suggesting a high level of concurrent validity. There was very little overlap in the frequency distributions of the 2 groups and only 7% of the normal controls scored as high as the lowest anorexic patient. Female obese and male subjects also scored significantly lower on the EAT than anorexics. Recovered anorexic patients scored in the normal range on the test, suggesting that the EAT is sensitive to clinical remission.
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            Understanding and evaluating qualitative research.

            Qualitative research aims to address questions concerned with developing an understanding of the meaning and experience dimensions of humans' lives and social worlds. Central to good qualitative research is whether the research participants' subjective meanings, actions and social contexts, as understood by them, are illuminated. This paper aims to provide beginning researchers, and those unfamiliar with qualitative research, with an orientation to the principles that inform the evaluation of the design, conduct, findings and interpretation of qualitative research. It orients the reader to two philosophical perspectives, the interpretive and critical research paradigms, which underpin both the qualitative research methodologies most often used in mental health research, and how qualitative research is evaluated. Criteria for evaluating quality are interconnected with standards for ethics in qualitative research. They include principles for good practice in the conduct of qualitative research, and for trustworthiness in the interpretation of qualitative data. The paper reviews these criteria, and discusses how they may be used to evaluate qualitative research presented in research reports. These principles also offer some guidance about the conduct of sound qualitative research for the beginner qualitative researcher.
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              A cognitive behavioural theory of anorexia nervosa


                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó, co-published with Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.
                1 June 2012
                : 1
                : 2
                : 59-67
                [ 1 ] Isis Education Centre, Warneford Hospital, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
                [ 2 ] Eating Disorders Service, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
                [ 3 ] Clinical Psychologist, Chronic Pain Management Service, Ipswich Hospital, Post Bag C320, Heath Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP14 3AH, UK
                Author notes
                [* ] +44 (0) 1473 703435, +44 (0) 1473 703193, zoemason@
                © 2012 The Author(s)

                Open Access statement. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

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