A grounded theory exploration of the experiences of the early stages of anorexia in adolescence
Background: Anorexia Nervosa is mental health problem which crosses both psychological and physical realms. It is also known to be a difficulty that often arises in adolescence. Unfortunately its prognosis is not favourable with elevated rates of chronicity and a higher mortality rate than any other psychiatric disorder in adolescence. Objectives: This research set out to explore the experiences of young people about the early stages of Anorexia. It was anticipated that this would improve clinicians’ knowledge in this area. Design and Method: This study adopted a qualitative Grounded Theory design for the interviewing and analysing process. Eight participants took part in an interview on their experiences of the early stages of Anorexia. The participants were aged between 13-17 years old. The majority were female with one male participant. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and data were analysed using NVivo software. The process of analysis involved moving between the interviews and generating codes. Through this repeated process the themes emerged from and were validated by the data. Results & Conclusions. Themes developed which illustrated the importance of the interpersonal context. Further analysis and conclusions were drawn from this and presented as this study’s main findings. The main findings were that there is a strong emotional element to the experiences of the early stages of Anorexia; that the level of awareness into Anorexia is something that develops and finally that emotions and awareness impact on responses to interpersonal interactions. The results were considered in reference to literature and clinical recommendations were provided.