Emotional processing and eating disorders

dorset healthcare
Kimmeridge Court

Investigating how individuals process emotions in eating disorders.  Do body mass index, treatment type and eating disorders type affect how it’s done?
Dorset HealthCare NHS Foundation Trust

Why carry out the research?

scale, emotional processing scaleTo date, little research has been carried out specifically looking at emotional processes and eating disorders. Research into related concepts such as alexythimia suggest that people with eating disorders struggle to verbally describe emotions and identify emotional states compared to people in a healthy population. This study aims to explore a number of central research questions using the 25-item emotional processing scale, designed by Professor Roger Baker, to look at how a persons’ weight (Body Mass Index), type of eating disorder and treatment type effect how they might deal with their emotions.

How is the research being undertaken?

We are approaching all new referrals to Kimmeridge Court, and local satellite clinics facilitated by Kimmeridge Court, who have a diagnosis (or unconfirmed diagnosis) of either Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa, and the Atypical subtypes at the start of their treatment. Pre and post treatment measures are being taken in emotional processing, depression, self-esteem, eating disorder symptoms and demographic information.

Who is involved?

The research is being led by Ciarán Newell (Consultant Nurse/Service Manager) at Kimmeridge Court, which is the specialist Adult Eating Disorders Service in Poole, Dorset.

This project is linked with the research collaborative based at Dorset Research & Development Support Unit in Poole, Dorset.

What is the time scale?

Recruitment for this project began in February 2008 and will run until 2010 to obtain the necessary participant numbers. It is intended that the project will be completed by 2011 and submitted for publication.

To find out more?

Contact Kay James (Assistant psychologist/Research Assistant) or Ciarán Newell (Consultant Nurse/Service Manager) at eatingdisorders@dhft.nhs.uk or ring on 01202 492147.