Relationship quality in anorexia nervosa - Eating Disorders Victoria
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This research is led by an institution external to EDV. Please read all the information provided below before deciding to participate. If you have any concerns about this, please consider speaking to your treatment team, someone you trust or contact the lead researcher. While research is important, your wellness and recovery should always be priority. A reminder that the EDV Hub is here for any Victorian who would like to discuss eating disorder concerns.

Relationship quality in anorexia nervosa

Research institution: Deakin University
Lead Investigator:
Prof Peter Enticott
Contact: Prof Peter Enticott [email protected]

Researchers at Deakin University are currently seeking volunteers to participate in an online study investigating how attitudes towards body image and food influence our relationships with friends and family. Adults aged 18-30 years are eligible to take part.

Participants are required to complete questionnaires and a task where they will describe facial expressions shown to them. The results of the study will likely help to inform more accurate assessment and more effective treatment of eating disorders.

Background and research aim

The purpose of this study is to understand how empathy affects relationships in anorexia nervosa (AN). We are also interested in understanding how relationships are impacted by AN. We are doing this research as there is evidence that empathy and relationship quality might be affected by AN. We want to understand how relationships differ in people with AN and those who have recovered from AN. Understanding this better can help us improve the treatment of this condition in those affected.

Who can take part?

We are seeking a total of 183 volunteers between the ages of 18-30 to partake in the online study. You can participate if you fit into one of the following groups:

  1. Have never had a diagnosis of AN nervosa and do not have any other neurodevelopmental, neurological, or psychiatric conditions.
  2. Have a current diagnosis of AN
  3. Have previously had a diagnosis of AN, and are now considered “weight restored”
    and/or “in remission”

In order to fit either of the previous criteria, you need to have had your diagnosis confirmed by a specialist (medical practitioner or psychologist). If you are currently undergoing assessment or suspect that you might have one of these conditions, but it has not been professionally confirmed, you are not eligible to take part in this particular study.

What will you be asked to do?

If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete an online survey and task. This needs to be done in one sitting as you will not be able to save your responses and resume later. The study is not expected to take more than an hour to complete.
We recommend that you find a quiet place to complete this study, where you are unlikely to be disturbed, and allow sufficient time to complete it.

You will be asked several questions about your demographics, medical history, and some behavioural traits and characteristics. Below are some example items:
“Have you had a definite fear of losing control overeating?”
“How dissatisfied have you been with your weight?”
“Do you like to arrange items in rows or patterns?”
“How satisfied are you with your health?”

When you finish these questions, you’ll be prompted to complete a task where you will identify emotion based on a person’s facial expression.

Get involved

To participate in the study, please follow this link for further information. Be sure read all relevant information before proceeding.

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