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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