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Recovery memoir pre-publication study

Synopsis: This study is designed to assess the effects of reading an unpublished book manuscript about recovery from anorexia, to guide decisions about its publication. It involves reading a book and answering questions before, during, and after reading.

Author: Dr Emily Troscianko

Affiliation: The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), University of Oxford


What is the purpose of the research?

The study aims to help us learn more about the role reading can play in eating disorders and recovery, specifically whether reading a book about recovery from anorexia has significantly different health-related effects compared to reading a book unrelated to eating disorders. The book about recovery is called The Hungry Anorexic. The book has not yet been published, and the experiment will determine whether it gets published—in its current form, in an edited form, or not at all. Precise statistical cutoffs have been specified in advance, and if the book “fails” these tests, it will not be released. If specific elements turn out to be significantly problematic, they will be revised.

Who can take part?

To take part, you must:

  • Be 18 years or over.
  • Be / identify as female.
  • Currently have a restrictive eating disorder or be recovering from it.
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of 15 or over.
  • Be fluent in English.
  • Be willing to avoid reading other books about eating disorders during the 5 weeks of the study.

What does the study involve?

If you decide to join this study, you will first be asked to answer a series of questions. After 1 week you will then be assigned either a book about anorexia recovery or a book on an unrelated topic. You'll be asked to read the book over a 2-week period, and to answer some open-ended questions at intervals as you read. After you've finished reading, you'll wait 2 weeks and then answer another set of questions. You are asked not to read any other books about eating disorders during the study.

How can someone take part?

To find out more and sign up for the study, the information sheet and consent form are available here: