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The egosyntonic nature of anorexia: An impediment to recovery in anorexia nervosa treatment

Gregertsen, EC; Mandy, W; Serpell, L; (2017) The egosyntonic nature of anorexia: An impediment to recovery in anorexia nervosa treatment. Frontiers in Psychology , 8 , Article 2273. 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02273. Green open access

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Abstract

A serious problem faced by clinicians treating anorexia nervosa is the egosyntonic nature of the illness, wherein individuals with anorexia nervosa value their disorder, thereby hindering motivation for recovery and engagement with treatment. The objective of this review article is to elucidate the nature of egosyntonicity in anorexia nervosa, reviewing both qualitative and quantitative research pertaining to this topic, and, importantly, to present methods to overcome this impediment to recovery in anorexia nervosa treatment. The authors elucidate functions of anorexia nervosa for patients, both within psychological and social spheres, as well as highlight the detrimental effect of egosyntonicity in terms of illness severity and motivation for recovery. The final part of the paper contains suggestions as to methods of bypassing pitfalls linked with the influence of the egosyntonic nature of anorexia nervosa within a treatment setting, as well as an examination of three current treatments (enhanced cognitive-behavioral therapy for eating disorders, Maudsley Model of Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults, and Specialist Supportive Clinical Management) in terms of the degree to which they target egosyntonicity.

Type: Article
Title: The egosyntonic nature of anorexia: An impediment to recovery in anorexia nervosa treatment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02273
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02273
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 Gregertsen, Mandy and Serpell. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: anorexia nervosa, treatment, recovery, engagement, motivation, egosyntonicity
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041153
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