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'It's not that they don't want to access the support . . . it's the impact of the autism': The experience of eating disorder services from the perspective of autistic women, parents and healthcare professionals

Babb, C; Brede, J; Jones, CRG; Elliott, M; Zanker, C; Tchanturia, K; Serpell, L; ... Fox, JRE; + view all (2021) 'It's not that they don't want to access the support . . . it's the impact of the autism': The experience of eating disorder services from the perspective of autistic women, parents and healthcare professionals. Autism 10.1177/1362361321991257. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

LAY ABSTRACT: This study explores autistic women's experiences of eating disorder services. About 20%-30% of people with anorexia nervosa are also autistic, and current treatments seem not to work as well for them. We interviewed 15 autistic women with experience of anorexia nervosa, 12 parents of autistic women with anorexia nervosa, and 11 healthcare professionals working in eating disorder services. We asked autistic women and parents about their experiences of eating disorder services, and we asked healthcare professionals about their experiences treating autistic women with anorexia nervosa. Participants' views were represented by three overall themes: misunderstanding autism and autistic traits, one treatment does not fit all, and improving accessibility and engagement within services. We found that autistic women face many barriers when in treatment for anorexia nervosa, often because of a lack of autism understanding within eating disorder services. Future research should look at developing anorexia nervosa treatments that can specifically help autistic individuals.

Type: Article
Title: 'It's not that they don't want to access the support . . . it's the impact of the autism': The experience of eating disorder services from the perspective of autistic women, parents and healthcare professionals
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1362361321991257
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1362361321991257
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/deed.en
Keywords: anorexia nervosa, autism, co-occurrence, eating disorder services, females, qualitative research
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122374
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