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Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2014 Feb;23(1):60-8. doi: 10.1111/inm.12014. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Work demands, social support, and job satisfaction in eating disorder inpatient settings: a qualitative study.

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  • 1Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders (LUCRED), Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.


In this qualitative study, we aimed to investigate work demands experienced by health-care workers in an adult eating disorder inpatient service. We also aimed to investigate the use of social support and job satisfaction in this setting. Twelve health-care workers from an eating disorder inpatient ward, including nurses, health-care support workers, and occupational therapists, participated in semistructured interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. A number of work demands were discussed relating to therapeutic care, physical care, and organizational demands. Most participants discussed social support at work as being highly valuable, formally and informally, whereas external support was viewed as less important. Despite the challenges of caring for patients with eating disorders, the majority of participants reported good patient-related job satisfaction, but poor job satisfaction in relation to organizational factors. Eating disorder inpatient care is complex and demanding, necessitating effective teamwork, communication, and support systems among health-care workers. Interventions should be developed to target barriers to care, including time constraints, administrative workload, and insufficient allocation of staff.

© 2013 The Authors; International Journal of Mental Health Nursing © 2013 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.


eating disorder; job satisfaction; social support; work demand

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