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A qualitative study of dietetic care in eating disorder treatment

A qualitative study of dietetic care in eating disorder treatment: perspectives of dietitians and service users

Researcher details

Nicole Dorrington
University of Chester


This study aims to evaluate the role of a dietitian within eating disorder treatment by exploring the experiences of delivering and receiving dietetic care.

What is the purpose of this research?

Dietetic care is key in eating disorder treatment, however limited research exists providing details on therapeutic aspects of treatment, including interpersonal and communication skills, the service user-dietitian relationship and challenges that exist. The views of recovered patients will be compared to those of practising dietitians to evaluate the role of a dietitian, approaches currently used and their perceived success. This may help inform future dietetic practice within eating disorders, enhancing quality of care and improving chances of positive outcomes for patients.

Who can take part?

Anyone aged 18 years or over who has previously been clinically diagnosed with an eating disorder (Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, Binge eating disorder or OSFED), received care from a specialist eating disorder dietitian in the UK for a minimum of 6 appointments or interactions, speaks fluent English, and is now in a stable state of recovery. This means:

  • Not engaged in or been seeking active treatment for 1y
  • Maintained BMI >18.5kg/m2 for at least 1y
  • No restricting, bingeing or purging behaviours for 1y

You will be asked to complete a short screening questionnaire to confirm eligibility.

What does the study involve?

You will be asked to complete a short online questionnaire to provide details about your eating disorder diagnosis and treatment. Please note that this will include question/s about your current and past weight/BMI. You will then attend a 2 hour online focus group of 3-5 people, where you will be asked to discuss your views on several aspects of dietetic care. The dates and times of this will be arranged when sufficient participants have been recruited to hold a focus group.

How can you take part?

If you are interested in taking part, please click here for more study information and the screening questionnaire. If you have any questions, please email Nicole Dorrington via