Anorexia: a literature review of young people’s experiences of hospital treatment
evidence and practice    

Anorexia: a literature review of young people’s experiences of hospital treatment

Rhona Williams Lecturer in Neonatal Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Work, Midwifery and Child Health, University of Hull, Hull, England
Matthew Smith Clinical Nurse Educator Children and Young People, Children’s and Adolescent Services, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Hull, England
David Wright Lecturer in Children’s Nursing, Midwifery and Child Health, University of Hull, Hull, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your understanding of the experiences of young people with anorexia who receive hospital treatment

  • To recognise the importance of addressing the emotional needs of young people with anorexia in addition to their physical needs

  • To identify how you can improve your practice when caring for young people with anorexia

Anorexia nervosa is characterised by significantly low body weight, a fear of weight gain and persistent efforts to prevent the restoration of normal weight. It has potentially life-threatening physical and psychological complications, and many young people with anorexia present to hospital in a seriously compromised physical condition. While their physical symptoms require urgent treatment, addressing their emotional and psychological needs is equally important if they are to progress towards recovery. However, the conflicting thoughts common in anorexia mean that young people often feel highly ambivalent about treatment, which makes the disorder particularly challenging to treat.

This article details a literature review undertaken to explore the perceptions and experiences of young people who have received hospital treatment for anorexia, with the aim of offering children’s nurses insights into how they can optimally support these patients. The findings demonstrate the importance of listening to young people, treating them as individuals and understanding their experiences, in addition to addressing their physical health needs.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2020.e1313

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

rhona.williams@hull.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Williams R, Smith M, Wright D (2020) Anorexia: a literature review of young people’s experiences of hospital treatment. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2020.e1313

Published online: 07 December 2020

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