Occupational Therapy in Eating Disorders
Last year, we (@pd2ot and @geekyOT) hosted an #OTalk tweetchat about occupational therapy and eating disorders for Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#EDAW14). We had 63 participants, and tweets from the chat made 659,387 impressions.
This year, Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#EDAW15) will run from Monday 23rd February – Sunday 1st March 2015. To coincide with this, we will be hosting another #OTalk on Tuesday 24th February at 8pm GMT (click the link to check your local time).
A real strength of the chat last year was having the contributions of clinicians/students and those who had personal experience of eating disorders throughout the chat – this year we’d encourage the same thing. So whatever your background, if you have any thoughts on the below topics, please join us!
- What types of individual/group interventions could occupational therapists use when working with people with eating disorders? What theory/evidence can be useful?
- If you have experienced treatment for an eating disorder (especially occupational therapy), what was it like? For me (@pd2ot) the occupations associated with my eating disorder (and self harm) had been all-consuming. Suddenly treatment changed that. There were feelings of fear and loss. It was chaotic. I was also bored! My focus transferred to treatment as my main occupation. It wasn’t as fulfilling. I was trying to engage in new ‘health promoting’ occupations but spent most of my time frantically distracting myself from the lost eating disordered activities, while remaining totally consumed by eating disordered thoughts. What was it like for you? Were there aspects of treatment that were especially helpful/unhelpful?
- What is it like to deliver or receive treatment for an eating disorder when engaged in a non-specialist service (maybe on a medical ward, a general mental health ward, at a GP surgery, or as part of a community mental/physical health team)? What are the challenges? What can make the experience a good one?
- Which occupational therapy assessment tools/methods might be useful when working with people with eating disorders? Why? What challenges might there be when using them?
- Can you recommend any resources for occupational therapists working with people with eating disorders? (Please share these throughout the chat)
- Have you got any questions for the rest of the community about occupational therapy and eating disorders?
It can be difficult to convey answers in 140 characters, so feel free to comment below or to email us something to go onto a Storify.
To prepare for the chat, you can:
- Read the questions and answers from last year’s chat or read the full PDF transcript if you’ve got a bit more time.
- If this is your first time joining in a tweetchat, check out our guide to tweetchatting.
- Visit the beat (eating disorders charity) website and browse their resources
Some articles about eating disorders and occupational therapy:
- ‘Recovery from Eating Disorders: a Role for Occupational Therapy‘ in the New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy
- British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) article about the impact of binge eating disorder on occupation.
- ‘With You, Not Against You: Applying Motivational Interviewing to Occupational Therapy in Anorexia Nervosa‘ BJOT article
- BJOT article about the role of occupational therapy within a specialist child and adolescent mental health eating disorder service.
- ‘The Management of Altered Body Image: a Role for Occupational Therapy‘ BJOT article
- European Eating Disorders Review about the St George’s eating disorders service meal preparation group which also evaluates the Eating and Meal Preparation Skills Assessment
- ‘Figured World of Eating Disorders: Occupations of Illness‘ Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy article
Finally, click the image below to find out more about beat’s fundraising campaign ‘Sock it to Eating Disorders’.
We look forward to chatting with you!
Thank you to everyone who joined in this year’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week #OTalk.