Eating disorders (ED) can reduce quality of life by limiting participation and performance in social and occupational roles, including paid or unpaid work. The association between ED pathologies and work participation and performance must be well understood to strengthen vocational rehabilitation programmes and prevent occupational disruptions in the ED population. The aims of this study are: (1) to examine the degree of association between ED pathologies and work participation and performance in 15-year-olds and older; (2) to highlight the specific ED symptoms that are most correlated with changes in work performance and participation; (3) to compile the most common metrics and assessments used to measure work participation and performance with ED.
Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and Cochrane Library will be searched for observational and experimental studies that meet the following criteria: (1) a clinical sample of typical or atypical ED; (2) paid or unpaid employment or training; (3) an association between ED pathologies and work participation or performance. Unpublished data will also be examined. Title and abstract, and full-text screening will be conducted in duplicate. Risk of bias and quality of evidence assessments will be completed. A random-effect meta-analysis will be performed.
This synthesis can clarify knowledge and gaps around the impact of ED on work functioning, thereby allowing better evaluation, improvements and development of current workplace assessments, interventions, and policies.
The registration number for this systematic review on PROSPERO is CRD42021255055.
Current research has found dramatic changes in the lives of those with eating disorders (EDs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We build on existing research to investigate the long-term effects and adaptations that people with EDs have faced due to COVID-19 related changes.
We collected 234 posts from three separate time periods from the subreddit r/EatingDisorders and analyzed them using thematic analysis. The posts were examined for initial patterns, and then those concepts were grouped into themes to reveal the authentic experiences of people living with EDs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, we found “lack of control” and “familial influences (loved ones seeking support)” emerge as themes within our broader data set throughout all three timeframes. There were additional themes that were present in only one or two of the collection periods. These themes consisted of “symptom stress,” “technical stresses and concerns,” and “silver linings.”
Our analysis shows that people with EDs have fought significantly during the pandemic. Initially, the (lack of) control and routine in their lives has caused symptoms to become more challenging, while being forced to move back home also caused significant stress. However, concerns transformed as the pandemic progressed, resulting in new pressures causing people to exhibit novel ED symptoms or relapse altogether. Also notable is the relatively few COVID-specific posts as the pandemic progressed, suggesting that people have accepted COVID as their “new normal” and begun to build resilience to the challenges associated. These are vital factors for clinicians to consider as they begin taking existing and new patients, particularly as face-to-face treatment options become a possibility again.
Plain English Summary
Existing research shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the lives of people who live with eating disorders in various ways. First, the pandemic has placed barriers on the path to recovery by limiting coping mechanism (and sometimes removing them altogether) and changing their relationships with food and the people in their lives. Second, the pandemic has forced treatment options to change since ED patients can no longer seek treatment face-to-face. Finally, there have been unexpected benefits to the pandemic, such as allowing individuals time to slow down and focus on their mental health. Previous studies examined individuals in clinical contexts rather than in their natural environments. We explored an online forum for people with eating disorders for the various themes that were discussed at three points over the period of March 2020-December 2020 and found that many people with EDs report worsening symptoms or relapse. However, we also noted that, compared to the beginning of the pandemic, people seemed to be less frequently asking for support during the third data collection period, implying an adaptation to the “new normal” of life in a pandemic. We conclude with a discussion of the findings.
Body checking (BC) is not only inherent to the maintenance of eating disorders but is also widespread among healthy females. According to etiological models, while BC serves as an affect-regulating behavior in the short term, in the longer term it is assumed to be disorder-maintaining and also produces more negative affect. The present study therefore aimed to empirically examine the proposed longer-term consequences of increased BC. In an online study, N = 167 women tracked their daily amount of BC over a total of 7 days: Following a 1-day baseline assessment of typical BC, participants were asked to check their bodies in an typical manner for 3 days and with a 3-fold increased frequency for 3-days. Before and after each BC episode, the impact of BC on affect, eating disorder symptoms, general pathology and endorsement of different functions of BC was assessed. Participants showed longer-term consequences of increased BC in terms of increased negative affect and general pathology, while eating disorder symptoms remained unaffected. In the case of typical BC, participants showed decreased general pathology and anxiety. Furthermore, the endorsement of a higher number of BC functions led to increased negative affect and an increased amount of typical BC. The findings support the theoretically assumed role of maladaptive BC in maintaining negative emotion in the longer term. However, though requiring replication, our finding of positive effects of typical BC calls into question the overall dysfunctionality of BC among non-clinical women who are not at risk of developing an eating disorder.
Background and aims
Food addiction (FA) and substance use (SU) have frequently been reported in patients with eating disorders (EDs). Our study aimed to assess the prevalence rates of FA and/or lifetime problematic alcohol and illicit drug use among patients with specific ED, such as: bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED). We sought to identify clinical, psychopathological, and personality profiles involved in these addictive behavior-based phenotypes.
The total sample was 527 patients (176 BN, 115 BED, and 236 OSFED). FA was assessed through the Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0. To determine lifetime SU, a semi-structured clinical interview was carried out.
Patients with BN had the highest rates of FA both with and without SU. No gender differences were obtained for the prevalence of current FA and/or lifetime SU. Patients reporting at least one addictive-related behavior exhibited increased clinical severity compared to those who reported none. Increased impulsivity (such as high lack of premeditation, sensation seeking, and positive urgency) and low self-directedness were differentiating factors for presenting one or two addictive behaviors.
Discussion and Conclusions
Overall, patients presenting with at least one addictive-like behavior reported a poorer clinical status than those without. Also, patients with FA and SU exhibited a more dysfunctional profile characterized by high impulsivity and low self-directedness. These findings would support the need for targeted treatments to reduce impulsivity and increase self-directedness, especially in patients with any addictive-related behavior, as a step towards improving their treatment outcome.
Eating disorders among adolescent girls are a public health concern. Adolescent girls that participate in aesthetic sport, such as dance, are of particular concern as they experience the highest rates of clinical eating disorders. The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of young girls in the world of competitive dance and examine how these experiences shape their relationship with the body; feminist poststructural discourse analysis was employed to critically explore this relationship. Interviews were conducted across Canada with twelve young girls in competitive dance (14–18 years of age) to better understand how the dominant discourses in the world of competitive dance constitute the beliefs, values and practices about body and body image. Environment, parents, coaches, and peers emerged as the largest influencers in shaping the young dancers’ relationship with their body. These influencers were found to generate and perpetuate body image discourses that reinforce the ideal dancer’s body and negative body image.