Body dissatisfaction in anorexia nervosa : clinical psychologists' approach to assessment and intervention or treatment planning
Anorexia nervosa is a debilitating disorder with dangerous potential health consequences. Body dissatisfaction is an important aetiological aspect of the development and maintenance of Anorexia Nervosa (AN). The purpose of this research study was to ascertain how clinical psychologists assess body dissatisfaction and how they formulate treatment for AN considering body dissatisfaction. In this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 9 registered clinical psychologists who specifically work in the area of eating disorders. The information provided by the participants was analysed using thematic analysis. Participants were recruited using snowball sampling. Sampling, data collection and analysis occurred concurrently until saturation was reached after 9 interviews have been conducted. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the Senate Research Ethics Committee (Social and Human Sciences) of the university of the Western Cape. Participation was voluntary and could be withdrawn at any time without fear of negative consequence or loss of perceived benefit. Ethics principles were strictly adhered to in the management of data and dissemination of findings. Potential participants received an information sheet detailing what participation entailed, as well as the rights and responsibilities of the student researcher and research participants respectively. An indication was also provided of the recourse participants had in the event of dissatisfaction with or concerns about the study. The research contributed to the knowledge base of how body dissatisfaction is conceptualised and operationalised in treatment planning for patients presenting with AN. Findings revealed that the role of theory is essential as it facilitates an explanatory system, which creates an understanding of body dissatisfaction in AN. Another finding was that the participants had their own subjective operationalisation of body dissatisfaction but feels that it is important to formally operationalise body dissatisfaction in anorexia nervosa. In terms of treatment, the participants believed that a multimodal approach is the most beneficial when treating body dissatisfaction in anorexia nervosa.