Shifting identities: exploring occupational identity for those in recovery from an eating disorder

Esther Dark, Sarah Carter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Purpose
    The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature, transition and formation of occupational identity for those in recovery from eating disorders (EDs).
    Design/methodology/approach
    Semi-structured “episodic” interviews were carried out with six women, self-identifying in recovery from an ED. Narrative-type-analysis produced a distilled narrative of participants’ accounts, before use of thematic analysis compared and extracted pertinent themes.
    Findings
    During recovery from an ED, significant shifts occurred in occupational identities, moving from sole identification with the ED, to a greater understanding of self; facilitated by increased engagement in meaningful occupations, adapting occupational meaning, connecting with self and others and the importance of becoming and belonging.
    Originality/value
    This is the first known piece of research exploring occupational identity in relation to EDs. The findings are applicable to occupational therapists and add to the growing body of qualitative research into EDs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-139
    JournalQualitative Research Journal
    Volume20
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2019

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