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Mealtimes on eating disorder wards: A two-study investigation

Authors

  • Stacey Long BSc,

    1. University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, Brockington Building Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
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  • Deborah J. Wallis PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, Brockington Building Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
    • Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, Brockington Building Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
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  • Newman Leung PhD,

    1. University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, Brockington Building Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
    2. The Barberry National Centre for Mental Health, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Trust Performance, 25 Vincent Drive, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2FG, UK
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  • Jon Arcelus PhD,

    1. University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, Brockington Building Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
    2. Beaumanor Unit - Eating Disorders, Brandon Unit, Leicester General Hospital, Coleman Rd, Leicester LE5 4PW, UK
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  • Caroline Meyer PhD

    1. University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, Brockington Building Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
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Abstract

Objective:

This research had two aims. First, to assess the current mealtime practices within UK eating disorders units. Second, to investigate staff perspectives of these mealtimes, including their involvement and understanding of patients' experience.

Method:

Study 1 involved a survey to assess mealtime protocols across 22 eating disorders units. In Study 2, sixteen semistructured interviews were conducted with staff at three eating disorders units.

Results:

Between and within-unit variation exist regarding the implementation of mealtimes. Thematic analysis revealed that staff perceived their provision of mealtimes to be influenced by their own interpersonal difficulties created by the meals. Additionally, they perceived that these issues could be aided by forward planning, successful teamwork, and focused staff training.

Discussion:

There is a need for specialized mealtime implementation training. Furthermore, research is required to evaluate current mealtime practices from patient perspectives and to determine the impact of modified mealtime approaches on treatment outcome. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)

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