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Healthcare providers’ engagement with eating disorder recovery narratives: opening to complexity and diversity

Abstract

Interdisciplinary healthcare providers (HCPs) receive only minimal training in identifying, referring for and treating eating disorders and may feel ill-prepared to manage them. There is a need for brief interventions that prepare HCPs for work with people with eating disorders, particularly when they do not fit stereotypes about who might experience an eating disorder. One method for enacting brief interventions that make change in this realm is using digital stories (short videos) to generate awareness and knowledge. In this article, we discuss the results of a pilot study exploring the impact of viewing digital stories created by people in eating disorder recovery and their supporters on an interdisciplinary group of HCPs. We showed five stories to 22 HCPs who filled out qualitative prequestionnaires and postquestionnaires about their experiences of viewing the films and how they conceptualised recovery. Providers found the stories evocative; the stories appear to have complexified their perspectives on recovery. HCPs desired more diverse, detailed and lengthy stories, indicating that pursuing digital storytelling for HCP education and awareness may hold promise. Through centring the voices of people with eating disorders and in recovery, digital stories may also provide new ways of talking about recovery that open up possibilities for embracing difference.

  • health care education
  • mental health care
  • arts in health/arts and health
  • film
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