It would not have happened to me at home: qualitative exploration of sojourns abroad and eating disorders in young Czech women




Eating disorders can be triggered by life events involving migration and acculturation.


To explore associations between sojourns abroad and the onset and course of eating disorders.


Six semi-structured interviews with women with an eating disorder and history of sojourn abroad and seven first-person Internet testimonies were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).


We identified three trajectories relating eating disorders to sojourns abroad: (I) weight-gain when abroad associated with later development of an eating disorder; (II) development or worsening of an eating disorder when abroad; (III) stay abroad as an attempt to escape the illness. Three topics informed on the impact of sojourns abroad on mental health: (A) different food and eating habits; (B) negative emotions; (C) illness as attempt to achieve something valuable.


The importance of the identified trajectories and topics relating eating disorders to sojourns abroad needs to be estimated in an epidemiological study. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.