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An exploration into the experience of an eating disorder and journey into treatment for British South-Asian women: What can we learn?

By Shana Hoque


A relatively large body of research has highlighted the high (or equal) risk of disordered eating in South-Asian populations in comparison to Caucasians, particularly in the UK.\ud The literature review aimed to examine the empirical evidence for eating disorders and body dissatisfaction in South-Asian populations over the past decade. Through systematic searching a total of 16 studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria. These studies, not without limitations, highlighted the high level of disordered eating in young South-Asian populations compared to disordered eating in other ethnicities. The finding of higher body dissatisfaction in more Westernized South-Asian populations was also evidenced.\ud Despite the findings that South-Asians are at equal risk as other ethnic groups for eating disorders, they remain under-represented in treatment services in the UK. The aim of the research report was to explore the eating disorder experience and journey into treatment for British South-Asian women who were in treatment in eating disorder services. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse the transcripts from six participants. Three overarching themes emerged: the critical Asian society; the parental response: rejecting, tolerating and accepting; and the role of self and voicing needs. Implications for eating disorder services were made based on the experiences of these participants.\ud The critical appraisal was an account of the research journey. Specifically, it highlighted the difficulties encountered along the process and how the present researcher managed these. It also incorporated the dilemmas for the present researcher in using a qualitative methodology

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
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