Experiences of inpatient eating disorder admissions: A systematic review and meta-synthesis  

Imogen Peebles*, Jamie-Lee Cronje, Lilli Clark, Helen Sharpe, Fiona Duffy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objective: There has been a significant increase in the number of inpatient admissions for individuals with eating disorders and, with the most critical cases requiring inpatient treatment, it is essential that we continue to improve associated outcomes. The aim of the study was to synthesise the available qualitative literature on the experiences of inpatient admissions for eating disorders to understand individuals’ experiences and identify areas that may require further research and/or service development.
Method: Searches were performed on the following online databases: PsycINFO, PsycArticles, PsycTherapy MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, ASSIA, Scopus and Proquest Open Access Theses. Only papers with qualitative data regarding individuals’ experiences of inpatient eating disorder treatment were considered. The CASP qualitative checklist was used to assess studies and relevant data items were extracted. Thematic synthesis was used to integrate the findings in the identified studies. GRADE-CERQual was used to rate the confidence in the findings.
Results: Twenty-five studies were identified which the CASP assessment considered to be adequate. The synthesis produced 5 main themes; ‘Care and control’, ‘Inpatient bubble’, ‘Being supported and understood’, ‘Challenges of living with others’ eating disorders’ and finally ’Relationship to eating disorder’. The GRADE CERQual framework rated findings with high or moderate confidence.
Conclusions: Findings reaffirmed the importance of patient-centred care and the significant impact of being separated from normal life with others also experiencing an eating disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101753
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEating Behaviors
Early online date23 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • eating disorders
  • inpatient
  • patient experience
  • systematic review
  • meta-synthesis


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