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Social and sensory differences in autistic and non-autistic individuals with anorexia nervosa

Who can take part?

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh would like to hear from you if you are an English-speaking adult (over the age of 18 years old) who is any of the following:

(1) An autistic individual and a parent/caregiver of an autistic individual with current anorexia nervosa (including atypical anorexia nervosa) OR in recovery/remission from anorexia nervosa (here defined as 3+ years since your most recent, significant acute episode)

(2) A non-autistic individual and a parent/caregiver of a non-autistic individual with current anorexia nervosa (including atypical anorexia nervosa) OR in recovery/remission from anorexia nervosa (here defined as 3+ years since your most recent, significant acute episode).

What is the purpose of the research?

We would like to explore lived experiences of autistic and non-autistic individuals with anorexia nervosa and their parents/caregivers in regards to possible social and sensory differences. It is our hope that any findings from the study will provide insights into the development of anorexia in both autistic and non-autistic communities. Identifying factors that may increase the risk of disordered eating may help us identify at-risks groups and possibly prevent those individuals from developing an eating disorder. It may also help us inform and tailor current treatments for those who are currently experiencing anorexia.

What does the study involve?

This study will involve interviewing you with a parent or caregiver. This could be your mother or father, or someone who was primarily responsible for your care when you were younger. This study involves conducting interviews with you both together, at the same time, therefore both members of your pair must be willing to participate. We aim to carry out interviews on an online platform such as Zoom, or on the phone.

How can someone take part?

If you are interested in participating in this research, please watch the following video: https://youtu.be/O83MgZOMieo and get in touch with the lead researcher Emy Nimbley: E.Nimbley@sms.ed.ac.uk